A Perfect Day in the Abel Tasman National ParkTwo scenic boat cruises and a hiking trail with pristine scenery make for a perfect day in the Abel Tasman National Park.
This has got to be one of New Zealand’s top spots but is remarkably uncrowded, especially during the autumn/winter/spring period. The Abel Tasman National Park is New Zealand’s smallest national park, located at the northern tip of the South Island. It’s big on stunning scenery which includes golden sand beaches and coves, tranquil lagoons and pristine islands.
One of the best ways to experience the Park is to take a boat or water taxi from Kaiteriteri to a secluded beach, walk for, say, 4 hours along the Abel Tasman Track, then catch a boat back to Kaiteriteri. A particularly popular option is with Wilsons Abel Tasman who offer their “Swing Bridge Bush and Beach” cruise and walk combo. The cruise leaves Kaiteriteri beach at 10.30am for Bark Bay, via Split Apple Rock for a photo opportunity.
Disembark at Medlands Beach and from there it’s a 4 hour walk via Torrent Bay to Anchorage. Distance wise it’s 9.5km or 6 miles. The estimated walking time is quite reasonable for average fitness and allows for ample photo stops along the way.
Part of the track takes you over the Falls River swing bridge and around the beautiful Torrent Bay inlet where postcard perfect photos are assured! There is a short side track to Cleopatra’s Pool which is just 10 minutes each way off the main track and definitely worth the extra footsteps. We included Cleopatra’s Pool and still arrived at Anchorage 45 minutes before the pick up time of 5.20pm which gave us a chance to soak in the gorgeous scenery at Anchorage.
The Wilson’s boat got us back to Kaiteriteri at 6.00pm – just in time for a well deserved cold beverage!
Take a small day pack, water, sunblock, sun hat, packed lunch, insect repellent (just in case), rainproof jacket (just in case)…
Ideally to do this trip you need to stay 2 nights at either Motueka or Kaiteriteri. Make the time, particularly in autumn/winter/spring when the weather is a little cooler and conducive to hiking. It’s an exquisite coastline and worth every step!
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We enjoyed all the hotels you picked for us, specially in Taupo (Suncourt Hotel and Conference Centre), Queenstown (Aspen Hotel Queenstown) and Franz Josef (Punga Grove). The rooms were amazing and the views were beautiful.
The car rentals were flawless as well. They gave us a Nissan Qashqai in both Auckland and Queenstown.
The itinerary you proposed for us was spot on. The domestic flight in the middle of the trip helped because it shortened a bit our total driving time. Queenstown is a great city and it was a very good idea to spend a few more days there. Greymouth was the only town where we didn't find that many things to do, but it was a convenient stopover between Franz Josef and Christchurch.
The activities you booked for us also turned out as planned, including Tamaki Maori Village, for which we had made those awkward reservations...
Again, thanks so much for assisting us on our first visit to New Zealand!
T & S, Spain -
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