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Experience the thrill and adventure of The Abel Tasman

Kaiteriteri is the perfect spot for thrill seekers, from kayaking to mountain biking. Image: Supplied

Experience the thrill and adventure of The Abel Tasman

Golden sandy beaches, rocky bushclad mountaintops, lazy lagoons and cheeky forest songbirds: The Abel Tasman may be Aotearoa New Zealand’s smallest national park but it’s vast on beauty spots, adrenaline thrills and places to chill. 

Experience the thrill and adventure of The Abel Tasman

Experience The Abel Tasman

The Abel Tasman’s renowned climate makes it a good place to visit at any time of the year. New Zealand’s only national park on the coast, you can bask in the best that the country – and the sea – has to offer. Every year thousands come to hike the Coast Track – the most popular of our Great Walks. But if you’re not up for that or you’re pushed for time, there’s much more to see and do amid hidden coves and beaches, wineries and seaside villages.

Stay

From campgrounds and cabins to some of the world’s most luxurious lodges, you’ll find a range of accommodation. Mapua Wharf is a buzzy destination for restaurants, cafes, galleries and fun; where better to hang out than a wharfside apartment? You’ll also find apartments at Kaiteriteri, the glorious beach and blissed village on the edge of the national park. Dietmar Glaser moved from Germany to New Zealand with his family in 1984 to develop Kimi Ora Eco Resort, just minutes from Kaiteriteri on a 12ha bushclad property. Split Apple luxury lodge, retreat and wellness spa is famed for Asian-Mediterranean fusion cuisine, art and antiques, bushwalking, secluded beaches, sea kayaking and bespoke experiences in the surrounding countryside.

Experience Abel Tasman, New Zealand

Relax and unwind at the luxury Split Apple Retreat. Image: Supplied

Eat & Drink

Fringing the park are the farms, orchards and vineyards that grow our finest produce, so it’s no surprise the nearby townships are home to cool cafes, breezy bistros and friendly pubs. Local favourites include The Park Café (Marahau), Hooked On Marahau for seafood and local wines on the waterfront, Kai Restaurant for the best of Tasman’s produce and beverages or its cheeky sibling Gone Burger for something more relaxed (Kaiteriteri). At a long lunch or elegant dinner at Forsters in Moutere Hills winery, match boutique wines with the elegant creations of Michelin-starred chef Alistair Forster (accompanied by your designated driver, of course). 

Experience Abel Tasman, New Zealand

Enjoy wine tasting at Rimu Wine Bar in Mapua. Image: Supplied

See & Do – Thrill Seekers

Pack your adrenalin! This is the place to pedal, paddle, jump, fly and dive. Spread over the low hills of a recreation reserve, Kaiteriteri Mountain Bike Park is a real gem. Designed and built by riders for riders, it has more than 25 trails weaving through both native forest and open terrain for beginners to advanced bikers. Enclosed by steep walls of rock and native bush, filled with waterfalls and pools, the park’s steep, narrow mountain streams are mecca for The Abel Tasman Canyoning to introduce you to the sport of descending the landscape by walking, swimming, scrambling, jumping, sliding, abseiling or zipline.

Experience Abel Tasman, New Zealand

Dive in and enjoy the ride with The Abel Tasman Canyoning. Image: Supplied

Take to the skies for a unique air adventure that might include taking a selfie on a golden beach with not another soul in sight, or with a snow-capped mountain in the background. Nelson Tasman Air’s helicopter and fixed-wing charters can get you there in minutes rather than weeks of walking or wading through the bush. Or leave the plane behind: Skydive The Abel Tasman offers free-fall experience with views of the North and South Islands. On the ground, Harwood’s Hole, deep in limestone country, is the deepest vertical shaft in New Zealand, well worth a look.

See & Do – Chill Seekers

Take it easy: scenic cruises, easy walking, cycling and kayaking trails let you get close to nature without raising too much of a sweat. For hikers, the famous The Abel Tasman Coastal Track flows along the shore, with breathtaking views from lush forest to golden beaches; it can be a half-day, full-day or multi-day hike. Water taxis provide quick and convenient access to the six major bays along the spectacular coastline, while sheltered waters, endless bays and tidal inlets are perfect for first-time paddlers or seasoned kayakers.

Experience Abel Tasman, New Zealand

Take a Scenic Cruise at Split Apple Rock. Image: Supplied

On dry – or not so dry, if you prefer – land, the Great Taste Trail is the way to experience the towns, orchards and vineyards, sparkling coast, rivers and hill valleys. The trail lives up to its name with opportunities to refuel on quality coffee, ice-cream, cafés and restaurants as well as craft breweries and award-winning wineries.

Experience Abel Tasman, New Zealand

Cycle Tasman’s Great Taste Trail. Image: Supplied

Operators like Kiwi Journeys offer options for splitting the 175km route into short sections or riding one-way and bussing home. Whatever your passion, you can indulge it here – wine and food tasting, magnificent scenery, art and craft, cultural experiences, golfing and more. Companies such as Bay Tours Nelson can create a personalised itinerary to meet your wishes and whims.

Stop in at one of the many restaurants, craft breweries and award-winning wineries. Image: Supplied

Getting Around

You’ll need a vehicle to experience the best of the Nelson region. Book before you go with Air New Zealand or choose from the options when you land at Nelson Airport.

Getting There

Air New Zealand flies non-stop to Nelson from Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch with connections available from all Air New Zealand serviced domestic airports.

Read more: Nelson: The perfect weekend escape all year round

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