Jared’s 5 top tips for visiting the Abel Tasman National Park

 1. Spend the night in the Park.  

Day trips are great, but the most awesome, revitalising – I’m even going to say spiritual – experience you can have in the Abel Tasman National Park is waking up to the sun rising across Tasman Bay.  It’s an experience that can bring tears to the eyes of even the toughest, rugby-playing, pig-hunting, hardened Kiwi bloke.

2. Create your own adventure.

Choose one of our packaged trips, or design one that includes a combination of activities. Even if you’ve only got a day (or half a day) do some kayaking and some hiking at minimum.  That way you get to see the Park from the water and the track. One of the beauties of the Abel Tasman is that it’s so accessible and has so much going on you really can do it all!  Isn’t there a cliché about variety being the spice of life?

3.Find your own secret spot.

 Even at the height of the busy season (December to March), you won’t have to try too hard to find a secluded spot.  If you’re in a kayak, you’ll find plenty of tiny bays and inlets you can have all to yourself.  I’ve never encountered more than a couple of people in spots like Falls River, on the Inland Track or even in Shag Harbour.  Outside of the few peak months of the year, including when the weather is at its most stable during winter, you will feel like you’ve got the whole park to yourself.

4. Catch a water taxi.

A ride on one of our smaller water taxis that take people up and down the coastline is much more than a simple taxi ride.  If you start your journey in Marahau your journey begins with a short ride on the boat while it is still coupled to a tractor.  The tractor will pull the boat down to the water line and you’ll be on your way. When you arrive back in Marahau, the skipper actually drives the boat back onto the trailer.   Even if you’ve never tried to drive a boat yourself, you’ll be impressed with the skill involved in doing this successfully. During the trip, the skipper will share their knowledge about the local area and wildlife.  And because you’re on a small boat, you can ask questions directly.

5. Use our pack transfer service.

If you’re staying in the Park and have travelled on a water taxi, you can also use our services to transfer your packs between your camping/hut sites. Carrying your gear on your back is one of the most demanding parts of hiking so having your bag magically transferred to your next destination is a real bonus, particularly if you are planning on shooting off on some side tracks en route to your next camping spot.  It only costs $15 per bag transfer and I reckon that’s bloody good value!

Blog by Jared Lawrence
Water Taxi Skipper – Abel Tasman AquaTaxi

Jared - Local Water Taxi Skipper and Guide in the Abel Tasman

About Jared: I’m not exaggerating when I say that Jared grew up in the Abel Tasman National Park. His grandparents have always owned a private bach at Apple Tree in the southern part of the Park. When he was just a young fella he once stayed up in the Park for a full month with his family. Jared wasn’t keen to return home with the rest of the family so stayed on for another two weeks with his grandparents. It was one of these times when he decided what he wanted to do when he grew up: to be a water taxi skipper.

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