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Beginning in Marahau, Nelson - one of the sunniest places in the country - the Abel Tasman Coast Track winds through 50 kilometres of glittering inlets, National Park and rocky headlands. It's a relaxing, easy track to hike; full of birdsong and opportunities for refereshing dips at white sand beaches along the way.
Walking the whole track itself takes around 4 - 5 days - it can be completed faster, but leaving time for snorkelling, swimming and kayaking along the way is what makes this a relaxing hiking adventure. For those with limited time, water taxi options can drop you off and pick you up from various points along the prettiest parts of the track. This way, you're able to explore this coastal paradise for as little or as long as you want.
Beyond the coastline
You'll find fur seals basking in the sunshine on rocky headlands; look out for common dolphins playing in the surf along the coast and Little Blue Penguins, the world's smallest penguin, returning to their burrows after a day's fishing. Tonga Island Marine Reserve, offshore from Awaroa Head, is home to caves and crevices that house crayfish, eels and bright pink algae. Go kayaking amongst the islands and estauries or put on a snorkel and mask to explore this underwater wonderland for yourself.
Birdsong and beech forests
The singsong calls of the tui and the bellbird echo along forested sections of the track. Fantails and wood pigeons flit about the canopy, keeping hikers company. Around the wetlands and estuaries, pukeko - a medium-sized, bright blue bird with touches of red - are common. In Maori culture, red is associated with nobility and power, and the pukeko is regarded highly with its red beak and legs. Beech, Kanuka and Manuka trees dot the dry ridges and coastal forests of the area.
Located at the tip of the South Island, the Abel Tasman Coast Track is a great way to experience some of New Zealand’s perfect beaches and marine life before heading further south to the alpine lakes, mountains and waterfalls found inland from Christchurch.
Combining a few days on the Abel Tasman Coast track with a guided walking tour of the central South Island is the perfect way to make the most of New Zealand’s beaches and marine life as well as the spectacular alpine beauty found further south.
New Zealand Trails offers 11 or 13 day small group guided hiking tours that incorporate some of the best walks in the country. You’ll experience parts of the Milford, Hollyford and Routeburn tracks as well as hike in the National Parks of Arthur’s Pass and Mount Cook. What’s more, you’ll enjoy 4 to 5 star accommodation, gourmet food & wine experiences and iconic New Zealand activities along the way.
We’d love to help you combine an experience on the Abel Tasman Coast Track with one of our New Zealand guided walking tours – please contact us now. For more information about our tours, please visit our website.
Written: 41 articles
The World Heritage Walking Tour, perfect for your trip of a lifetime. The best walks in New Zealand, iconic outdoor activities, 4-star accommodation and delicious food and wine - in a friendly small group led by expert 'Kiwi' guides.
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