The Abel Tasman Coast Track is one of New Zealand’s nine Great Walks and perhaps the best easily accessible trail on the South Island. Abel Tasman offers pristine coastline, the trail itself is excellent with little gain in elevation, and the temperate climate makes the hike enjoyable year-round. In addition, you don’t have to hike the full distance and instead can drop in for day hikes from the various access points. No matter your level of hiking expertise, the Abel Tasman Coast Track is recommended for any South Island itinerary.

Abel Tasman Cost Track Information

Distance: 54 kilometers
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Time: 3–5 days
When to Go: The Abel Tasman Coast Track is open all year; peak season is from November through April. The average high/low temperatures are 22°C/13°C in the summer and 13°C/3°C in the winter.
Starting Points: Marahau, the gateway town at the southern border of Abel Tasman National Park, is the main access point for the Coast Track. There are three access points at the northern end of the park at Awaroa, Totaranui, and Wainui. The track can be walked in either direction.
Accommodation: Most hikers stay at the 19 campsites and 4 huts operated by New Zealand’s Department of Conservation (DOC). There are two private accommodations within the park, both near Awaroa Bay. For more, see our Abel Tasman Accommodation page.
Cost: DOC huts on the Abel Tasman Coast Track are $32 NZD per person and campsites are $14 NZD per person. Day hiking in the park is free.
Reservations: All huts and campsites on the Abel Tasman Coast Track must be booked in advance. Bookings can be made online through the DOC or at any DOC visitor center (there are offices in Motueka, Takaka, and Nelson).
Services: Filtered water is available at Anchorage, Bark Bay, Awaroa, Totaranui and Whariwharangi. All campsites have a water supply but it must be treated before consumption. All huts and campsites have toilets on site.
Tidal Crossings: There are four tidal crossings on the Abel Tasman Coast Track: the crossings at Torrent Bay and Bark Bay have all-tide trails that add approximately 1 hour of hiking time and 15 minutes of hiking time, respectively. The tidal crossing at Onetahuti and Awaroa do not have alternate routes. Check with the DOC for current tide charts.
Inside Scoop: Two of the best campgrounds on the Abel Tasman Coast Track are Te Pukatea Bay and Mutton Cove. If you’re short on time or seeking to get off the beaten path in Abel Tasman, try the northern end of the park past Totaranui. Most kayaking trips don’t make it there (the northern end is more exposed) but the coastline is stunning.
What to Do Next: Along with hiking, many people choose to go kayaking in Abel Tasman. In addition, the Marlborough Sounds are just east (it’s less than a three-hour drive from Marahau to Picton).


Powered by Drupal

Milford Track

The Milford Track is New Zealand’s most famous hike and considered to be among the best in the world. What makes it so extraordinary? The trail offers the fullest array of awe-inspiring...

Routeburn Track

The Routeburn Track is the shortest of New Zealand’s Great Walks but it's a powerhouse. The trail traverses both Fiordland National Park and Mt. Aspiring National Park through old-growth rainforest, past tumbling waterfalls, across tussock...

Abel Tasman, New Zealand

On the northern end of New Zealand’s South Island is the warm coastal region of Abel Tasman. Abel Tasman National Park is one of New Zealand’s smallest and most visited parks, renowned for pristine beaches, turquoise...

Otago, New Zealand

Otago on the South Island is one of New Zealand’s most varied regions, from high alpine terrain to remote coastline and almost everything in between. The outdoorsy towns of Queenstown and Wanaka are most popular...

Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown has been dubbed the “Adventure Capital of the World” and the reputation is well earned. In close proximity are seemingly endless adrenaline-inducing activities such as bungee jumping, skydiving, jet boating, whitewater rafting, heli-biking...

Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand

Located at the top of the South Island east of Abel Tasman National Park, the Marlborough Sounds are as easy going as anywhere in New Zealand. Most of the wooded hillsides and peaceful bays are inaccessible by road...

Best Hiking Shoes of 2024

The momentum in hiking footwear is moving away from bulky boots toward lightweight shoes and even trail runners that are faster and more comfortable. You do lose some ankle support when carrying a heavy pack or traversing rocky trails...

Best DSLR Cameras of 2019

Digital SLR cameras are among the best of the best: they have the largest sensors, the most megapixels, and the highest quality selection of lenses. We break down the leading DSLRs on the market from...