With a seemingly endless array of picture perfect panoramic vistas, the Abel Tasman is equally popular for Kiwis as it is for overseas visitors.
The Abel Tasman is a landscape full of stories. Maori lived in the area up to 500 years ago, and it was not visited by European explorers until 1642 when Dutch Explorer Abel Janszoon Tasman found himself lost in area whilst trying find what we now call Australia. The story of Tasman’s first encounter with the local Maori is a textbook case of cultural misunderstanding.
Even before the national park was established, the area has been the outdoor playground of local families. Today, private holiday houses are still dotted along the coastline, many of which have been handed down from one generation to the next.
After a determined and ongoing conservation effort by a couple of key organisations over the past 10 or so years the Park’s native bush and birdlife has never been in better shape than before human settlement in the area.
All of the tourism businesses serving the Abel Tasman are privately owned by locals who work and live in and around the national park. From extremely humble beginnings 20 years ago the Alborn family have grown their business into the largest tourism operation, and one of the largest employers in the area.