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Introduction: it is a large protected area, from Marahau (South boundary) to the Golden bay on the North. The forest is almost uncontaminated, bays are marvelous, many seals can be seen on the islands facing the coast.
The park can be crossed by walk, mountain bike (only a few areas), kayak and authorized boats. Motor vehicles of any kind are not admitted.
Sleeping in the park: there are a few ways to do this:
- Camping: you must ask permission in advance (and also pay required fee), declaring the number of nights you are going to spend inside Abel Tasman. You must contact DOC, Department of Conservation, It is possible to sleep in certain areas.
- Sleeping bag: similar to the camping, but you can use a few huts (little more than sheds), look carefully about their position and the need to book
- AcquaPackers: our cheap choice... a floating hostel at Anchorage bay, 12 km from Marahau, bunk beds and a few private rooms available. In our opinion it is the best solution, a trade-off between quality and price.
How to walk across the park. The Abel Tasman coast track crosses the park along the coast. They are over 60 km so getting them all in one day is within the reach of a few. So if you want to go from one side to the other, you will have to sleep somewhere at least for one night. How to get back? There are a few Aqua Taxi services that can bring you back to the starting point. Another solution could be to use one of the luggage transportation services, efficient but expensive, asking them to bring your luggage to your destination. Some tour operators have mixed solutions, with stretches on foot, boat and kayak.
Our choice: we took an aqua taxi in Marahau heading to Onetahuti bay. We walked to the Anchorage, here we booked our floating hostel.
Next morning we walked back to Marahau.
More info about the Acquapackers hostel can be founf on their web site. Is is possible to book both transportation and night accomodation contacting one of their partners listed on this page, we contacted Aqua Taxi to book the two days experience inside the park.
High tide - low tide: Pay close attention to the schedules for high and low tides, during the low tide it is possible to shorten the path by walking on the bays
Brief description of the route: we get down from the water taxi into the to start walking on the left , many insects lives here like this . Aftera the path leaves the coast to cross the before turning back to the sea at .
There are also a few on the pate. At there is even a , many looking for food.
/The hike proceeds , all around us there are many , symbol of New Zealand. Cross the incredible and then the .
We are almost at the end of our journey to The Anchorage. We can now see , we take advantage of the to finally reach . Here, Aqua packers staff will bring us to the floating hostel.
More info: http://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/places-to-go/nelson-tasman/places/abel-tasman-national-park/.