Frequently Asked Questions
All the Questions We’re Used to Hearing (& Answering) About the Abel Tasman
It is generally safe to cross the estuary two hours either side of low tide.
There is only one café within the national park, the Pepper’s Lodge at Awaroa, which is open during the summer months. Generally, you need to take all of your own food with you, unless you are on a catered package trip with a commercial operator.
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.
Packs and other bags cannot be secured when they are transferred between bays. They are simply left in a predetermined 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.
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 Nelson Tasman 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. The Inland Track is less well formed and is best attempted in tramping boots.
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 Point Separation. The only way to make up your own mind is to walk the entire length of 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.
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.
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.
Please check-in 30 minutes before your departure time ready to board as the boats leave at the scheduled time.
There is filtered water at Anchorage, Bark Bay, Awaroa and Totaranui. At the other beaches it is recommended to treat the water before drinking it.
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 and covered cooking shelters. They have bunk beds in the huts and some have heating. All of the campsites in the park have toilets.
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.
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.
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.
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 and backpacks.
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.
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 and under are free.
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.
Christmas Day 25-Dec is the only day of the year that we are closed.
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.