Abel Tasman Transport

One of the reasons the Abel Tasman is so popular is because it is so accessible.

The Abel Tasman National Park is located in the Tasman District at the top of New Zealand’s South Island.

Nelson is the largest city in the area and home of New Zealand’s sixth busiest airport.  Nelson airport serves around one million passengers per year. From Nelson the Park is an easy one hour, 60km drive.

The Abel Tasman is also easily accessible by road, and by car ferry from Wellington.  For travellers without their own transport, bus services are available from Nelson and Motueka each day

By Car

The main road access point to the Abel Tasman is via Marahau, at the southern end of the Coastal Track.

There is also road access from the northern end of the Park via Golden Bay, to Wainui, Totaranui and Awaroa.

Approximate driving times to Marahau (click for directions):C

By Air

Nelson Airport has fantastic connectivity to the rest of New Zealand. It may be small but it’s extremely busy.

Wellington Airport is the closest international airport, a short 35 minute flight away.  Nelson is also well serviced by New Zealand’s other main international airports, Christchurch and Auckland.

Nelson Airport is serviced but around 300 flights per week.  As well as frequent daily flights on Air New Zealand, in recent times, a good number of other airlines have begun to offer services into Nelson.

Airline Destinations
Adventure Flights Golden Bay Charter: Awaroa, Karamea, Nelson, Takaka
Air New Zealand Auckland, Christchurch, Nelson, Wellington
Golden Bay Air Charter: Karamea, Nelson, Takaka
Jetstar Airways Auckland, Nelson, Wellington
Nelson Tasman Air Charter: Karamea, Motueka, Nelson, Takaka
Originair Nelson, Palmerston North
Sounds Air Kapiti Coast, Nelson, Wellington

By Ferry from Wellington

There are two ferry services from Wellington at bottom of the North Island, to Picton at the top of the South Island.  

The Interislander and Bluebridge both operate large car-carrying ferries that travel across Cook Strait and through the remarkably beautiful Marlborough Sounds on their way to Picton. Picton is then a 3 hour and twenty minute drive from the Abel Tasman National Park.

Both ferry services take around three hours.  The ferries contain restaurants, bars and other ways in which to pass the journey, including children’s areas and even small film theatres.

By Bus

The Intercity bus network has a hub right in the middle of Nelson City with daily services from Picton, Christchurch and other cities and towns around the South Island.

Once you’re in the area, the commercial operators in the Park run year-round daily bus services from Nelson and Marahau .  These bus services depart Nelson and Motueka early each morning to meet up with morning trips into the Park that, and then return in the afternoon at around 5:30PM.

Scenicnz Abel Tasman (formerly Abel Tasman Coachlines) also operate daily services from Nelson and Motueka which take you right to the entrance to the Coastal Track in Marahau.
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