Pages Navigation Menu

A Walk in Abel Tasman National Park, South Island of New Zealand

Excursions can be expensive and so I’ve avoided them thus far in New Zealand. But I didn’t want to miss a chance to walk in Abel Tasman National Park and without a car, booking an excursion was a necessity.


Abel Tasman National Park

Abel Tasman National Park


From Nelson, it took an hour by bus to get to Marahau which is at the southern end of the famous Abel Tasman Walking Track.  Our bus driver became the skipper and took us in a jet boat to Split Apple Rock (apparently an iconic New Zealand image).  From there we headed north to Torrent Bay where I alone was deposited on the beach.  I felt sort of like Gilligan, but without a crew.


I stood on the beach, admiring the many purple-hued seashells and followed the signs to the Abel Tasman Track.  I walked north to Bark Bay and onward to Onetahuti, a walk of 13.8 kilometers that rambled through wet, green rainforest steaming in patches of sun, and sunny coastal cliffs.  The freshest air that has ever entered my lungs! 


I marveled at the colors – the inkiest blacks to the most outstanding array of greens and blues.  Coves held water that ranged from milk glass green to pea green, to swimming-pool-blue to gray.  I crossed two rickety suspension bridges.  That was a first.  My reward for bravery was stunning views of waterfalls.  Really, the pictures can’t do any of the walk justice, but I tried.


Abel Tasman National Park

I took this photo looking straight up while walking and I LOVE how it turned out like an abstract painting!


I only saw nine other people on the trail, despite the beautiful day.


When I arrived at Onetahuti about four hours later I waited for 15 minutes before the same skipper picked me up on the beach.  He brought the boat very close to nearby Tonga Island where I saw female and baby fur seals lounging in the sun.  The male seals live on another island and drink beer and watch football until it’s time to breed.  Then they visit the females again.   Partially true story.


I saw one penguin. A penguin! Pretty exciting stuff for a California girl.


The Abel Tasman Walking Track can be completed in four to five days.  If I had more time, I would have loved to walk the whole of it.  The track is very well equipped and organized with water fountains, restrooms, and camping “huts” (which are really well-equipped cabins).  This would be such a fun walk with a group of friends or family!  Read more about the Abel Tasman Walking Track.


There are many companies offering the transportation and tour from Nelson, New Zealand.  I used Abel Tasman AquaTaxi and had a good experience.  It cost $96 NZ (approx. $75 US) for all transport and a brief tour.


Great day!  I hope to return some day and walk the full track with a group.  Who’s in?


 Photos of the Walk in Abel Tasman National Park:


  1. Incredible photos today!

    • Thanks! Glad you enjoyed them!

  2. What gorgeous photos and great weather. . . . so happy you did this and
    if you want to do it again, and it is appropriate for me to join the group
    . . . . I am IN!!!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons