It is generally safe to cross the estuary two hours either side of low tide.
When is it safe to cross the Awaroa Estuary?
Can I buy food in the Abel Tasman?
There is only one café within the national park, the Awaroa Lodge, which is open during the summer months.
Where do I stand to catch a water taxi?
When you’re on your way into the park your water taxi skipper will either point out or will tell you where to stand when you’re waiting for your return water taxi. This is different for each bay but will become obvious when you see water taxis come in to collect passengers.
If I pay for my pack to be transferred on a water taxi will it be secure if it dropped on a beach without me being there?
Packs and other bags cannot be secured when they are transferred between bays. They are simply left in a pre-determined location, usually in front of a DOC sign. To our knowledge however, there have never been any cases of theft in the Abel Tasman from bags during pack transfers.
What is the best time of year to visit the Abel Tasman?
The warmest time of year is between December and early March. However, this is also the busiest time in terms of visitor numbers. The weather in the Tasman District is reasonably mild all year-round. Some of the most stable conditions are in the winter months between June and September.
Do I need to wear tramping boots?
The Coastal Track is well formed and you generally don’t need to wear sturdy tramping boots. Depending on your own personal preference and how far you are walking, running shoes or even sandals/jandals can you worn while walking the track.
Which is the best part of the Coastal Track?
This is open to debate. Some people prefer the southern end of the track with its elevated views across to Adele and Fisherman Islands in the Astrolabe Roadstead. Others would say the section between Bark Bay and Torrent Bay, and particularly the Falls River Swingbridge, is the most beautiful. Yet more people would talk about the far northern track around Separation Point. The only way to make up your own mind is to walk the entire length of the Park!
Is there phone coverage in the park?
There is very limited phone coverage in the Abel Tasman National Park, so you can’t rely on having mobile coverage in the Park.
Is secure overnight/day customer car parking available at your departure locations?
At our main base in Marahau we have onsite overnight/day customer car parking which is located where the boats depart from. Kaiteriteri offer public car parking, over peak summer months the overnight car park is a 15 minute walk from the beach.
Can we choose our water taxi return time when we are in the park?
We need to know before you enter the park what time you would like to return so we can plan how many boats are required. You can approach one of our boats in the park to see if you can come out earlier if you decide you do want to get on an earlier boat.
What time is check-in at your Marahau or Kaiteriteri base for water taxis?
Please check-in 30 minutes before your departure time ready to board as the boats leave at the scheduled time.
Is there drinking water in the park?
There is filtered water at Anchorage, Bark Bay, Awaroa & Totaranui. At the other beaches it is recommended to treat the water before drinking it.
What facilities do the DOC huts and campsites have?
There are 4 huts and 19 campsites along the Abel Tasman Coastal Track, which must be booked in advance all year round. The DOC huts have flush toilets & covered cooking shelters. They have bunk beds in the huts and some have heating. All of the campsites in the park have toilets.
How do I catch the bus to Marahau?
We have a selection of available locations to drop off at/pick up at from Nelson through to Marahau. Our bus departs Nelson once a day and returns to Nelson from Marahau at 5pm once per day only. The bus needs to be booked in advance.
What should I bring?
The Abel Tasman is well known for its great weather, but you need to be prepared for all conditions. You need a warm top for the water taxi ride. For multi-day trips, hiking boots or walking shoes are advised. For day walks, sandals or trainers are fine. Bring any personal items such as medication, camera, sunscreen and insect repellent, personal drinking bottle, sunglasses, hat and food.
Can you buy anything in the park?
No, there are no shops in the park. There is a lodge at Awaroa that is open during certain summer months & hours, other than that you cannot purchase anything in the Abel Tasman National Park.
Can we hire equipment from you?
We do have some gear available for hire, it is first in first served basis and we cannot hold any gear or guarantee that we have some available when you arrive. We have limited stock of sleeping bags, tents, 2 person cooking packs, sleeping mats & backpacks.
Do we have to make a reservation for water taxis?
Yes. Our boats are often full. If you make a reservation there will be room for you on the boat, and if you are being picked up from a bay in the National Park the skipper will know to go there at the date and time you have booked.
Do you offer special water taxi prices for students, locals & large groups?
No, due to our small boats and high demand for bookings we charge the same rate for everyone. Children 5-14 years are half price, infants 5 & under are free.
Do the water taxis operate if it’s raining or windy?
Yes, bring gear to suit the weather conditions. If we do cancel a trip due to weather we will offer a full refund, but we do not need to cancel sailings very often at all.
Do the water taxis and kayak trips operate every day?
Christmas Day 25-Dec is the only day of the year that we are closed.
What do I do with my rubbish?
You must bring out all your rubbish with you, there are no rubbish disposal facilities in the park at all. You must carry out what you carry in.