When paddling in paradise is your business, it doesn’t seem like 34 years since pioneers Tom and Ingrid Horne took a beat up 1946 Ford truck, some borrowed river kayaks, and launched New Zealand’s very first sea kayak company in the heart of Abel Tasman National Park.
Abel Tasman Kayaks has grown into one of our country’s premier tourist experiences, with over 150 double and single kayaks, a purpose-built home base in Marahau, dozens of guides with over 225 years combined expertise, and thousands of deeply satisfied customers.
Sea kayaking is such a unique, low impact way to explore the beautiful golden beaches, peaceful coves and lagoons, offshore islands, wildlife and the native forest fringing our granite coastline! We offer a seamless kayak product from return transport to/from Nelson or Motueka, purpose-built kayak base, water taxi with seating configured to start your kayak trip as soon as you board our boat.
We have continued to lead the way with a strong commitment to high safety standards and experienced guides with incredible passion and extensive local knowledge of the park. As the owner of Abel Tasman Kayaks, I feel privileged to have our team introduce this beautiful place that we call home.
Every day the team at Abel Tasman Kayaks offers a seamless kayak product which is delivered by a dedicated team of industry legends who keep delivering and expanding on the promise of the very first trip we operated from Marahau to Fisherman’s Island in 1986. Our guides and safety instructors are chosen for their outgoing, warm personalities and their natural enthusiasm for the environment. They come from all walks of life. Their love of adventure and people is invigorating and they return to the Abel Tasman year after year to share this unique coastline with you. They say it doesn’t feel like work, working in this beautiful environment but more like a day with great friends. We are proud to say we have world class guides and instructors who will share their passion for the Abel Tasman. All instructors are certified through NZOIA or have equivalent qualifications.
DarrylKia ora, my name is Darryl but people call me Daz.
I'm from Riuwaka and my association with the Abel Tasman National Park goes back to my first summer in 1989 working as a guide in the park. I have just started my 30th season. I'm passionate about loving, life and sailing. Something I'm super proud of is the first successful solo circumnavigation of Rakiura/Stewart Island. What I like most about the Abel Tasman is the water, rocks, sand trees, birds....basically everything.
TomKia ora, Ko Tom tōku ingoa, Nō Marahau ahau, originally from Germany.
My association with Abel Tasman National Park goes back to 1979 – my first sea kayaking trip. I have worked in the national park for 33 years. I'm passionate about passing on a passion of sea kayaking, outdoor adventure and making a difference. I'm proud of being a loved father and partner. A favourite moment of mine in the Abel Tasman area is hanging out with family & kayaks in Maori Burial Bay and paddling with them to a New Year's Party at Awaroa Lodge only to paddle back home at 3am for work that same morning.
RoyKia ora, Ko Roy tōku ingoa, Nō United Kingdom ahau.
My association with Abel Tasman National Park goes back more than 19 years. I have worked in the national park for more than 10 years. I'm passionate about our environment, rivers, seas and animals found here. I am proud of achieving a Bachelor's Degree in Aquaculture and Marine Conservation at a local study center. My favourite part about the Abel Tasman area is the connection of people. Between both staff but also guests who are able to connect from different parts of the world.
JoshSelamat datang, I'm Josh originally from the Netherlands but my heritage is from across the globe.
My association with the national park goes back to 2000 when my now wife & I walked the Great Walk together. I've worked in the area since 2006 as a sea kayak guide and operations manager. I'm most passionate about helping create a more fair and caring world for all people and nature at large. I'm extremely proud of my beautiful family: my amazing wife & fantastic four daughters. I love sailing through the park on days off and reminding myself all the time that this is my home.
NicoleKia Ora I am Nicole, born in England but grew up in New Zealand since 5 years old.
I have been guiding in the Abel Tasman for 5 years, winters and summers now, and started when I was 16 years old, the youngest guide in the Abel Tasman. I have a passion for the outdoors, kayaking, biking , sailing, hiking and kids! I live for my multi day tours, spending three days with awesome clients in a great place watching sunsets and rises with wildlife.
IsaacKia ora, I'm Isaac from Waitakere (some may say West Auckland).
My association with Abel Tasman started in 2014 but working since 2015 with various kayaking companies. I am passionate about the outdoors, both nature conservation and challenge myself through adventure. I am proud of when I rode a motorcycle for 7 months from Canada to Chile. My favourite experience in the Abel Tasman is having genuine conversations with my guests with a beach to ourselves.
AmberKia ora, I'm Amber from Canada and I like to eat hot chip sandwiches!
My association with the Abel Tasman National Park goes back to 2015 when I saw it in a paddling magazine. Since then, I have now worked for 3 years in the area. I'm most passionate about natural environments that show people about the places we live. I am proud to be the youngest Sea Kayak instructor in Canada to achieve Level-4 Sea Kayak skills, Level-3 Instructor and a Level-2 Instructor Trainer.My favourite thing about the ATAZ is the constant change in scenery (for example high tide versus low tide), sunny versus stormy and the amazing people and areas in the park. Stoked on life.
Tim (Boon)Kia ora, I'm Tim but most people call me Boon.
It all started back in 2013. I was studying at Tai Poutini Polytechnic and we went for a little trip up to the Abel Tasman national park that year. I've fallen in love with the area and people and have worked in the national park since 2015. I'm originally from Hokitika. I'm passionate about kayaking, archery & history. I am super proud of achieving paddling around D'Urville Island successfully. One of my favourite times of the Abel Tasman would be when the seal pups are at their most playful.
BalveerKia ora, Ko Balveer tōku ingoa, Nō Uttarakhand, North India ahau.
My association with Abel Tasman National Park goes back to 2015. I have worked in the national park for 4 years. I'm passionate about learning in all aspects of my life. I am proud of the decision I took to come to New Zealand. My favourite things about the Abel Tasman is the nature, sun, beaches. But ultimately it feels like home and I love running on the great walk track. Namaste.
AmorangiKia ora, I'm Amorangi.
I'm originally from Te Moutere ō Matakana near Tauranga. This is my second summer season working as a sea kayak guide. I've come down here to travel and see my country. I'm passionate about te taiao/the outdoors. I'm most proud of speaking Te Reo Māori and being Māori. My favourite memory of the Abel Tasman is catching and cooking a kahawai at Mutton Cove. Yum!
HayleyKia ora, Ko Hayley tōku ingoa, Nō Te Awamutu ahau.
My association with Abel Tasman National Park goes back to my adventures while studying. I have worked in the national park for 2 years. I'm passionate about the outdoors and the environment. I am proud of achieving the height of 4'11" & being happy in what I do. My favourite Abel Tasman experience is the month of April.
JessKia ora, I'm Jess and I'm from New Zealand.
My association with the area goes back 4 years and I've been working for 3 of those. I am passionate about nature and working in the outdoors. I also enjoy being creative and anything colourful. I'm proud of the fact that I'm doing what I love to do every day. No standout experience for me, I'm stoked that I get to be out there every day.
LianaKia ora, my name is Liana from Wellington and I've been sea kayaking for 3 years in the Abel Tasman region.
I first came here in 2014 with my family on a road trip around the South Island - we went on a freedom sea kayaking trip with Abel Tasman Kayaks and loved every minute of it. I enjoy being in the outdoors, learning new things, exploring new places, meeting new people and having fun. I'm most proud of being an instructor for 21 days on an expedition with year 12 boys in Australia called Beyond the Gates. The expedition starts in one state and finishes in another using rafting, hiking, mountain biking with no showers. It was an unforgettable experience for myself and the boys. As for my favourite experience in the national park I love meeting new people every day and showing them around the Abel Tasman area. Seeing how excited everyone gets makes me really happy. I enjoy sharing a place which creates unforgettable experiences through beauty and human connection.
GarethKia ora I'm Gareth originally from New Forest in England.
I am passionate about the sea, sun and sand and how it provides a fun and safe environment for everyone. Something I'm super proud of achieving is representing New Zealand in sailing and recently changing my life to live in the Abel Tasman. My favourite Abel Tasman experience – being at Onetahuti by myself and watching the sunrise.
LouisaKia ora, I'm Louisa and I'm from Papakaio, Otago.
I am passionate about sharing my enthusiasm for the outdoors and conservation. I am proud of the journey I am on. One of my favourite experiences in the national park would be kayaing with a pod of dusky dolphins.
AwateaKia ora, I'm Awatea and I'm a local here from Motueka.
My association with the Abel Tasman area goes back to 2012 when I stayed with my friend at their batch in Torrent Bay. I am passionate about living my best life. One thing I'm super proud of achieving is the Whenua iti Outdoor Leaders Award. A couple of favourite memories of the national park is sleeping on the beach during a full moon at Onetahuti, my year 9 camp at Anchorage and practicing my rolls there too.
RubyKia ora, Ko Ruby tōku ingoa, Nō Brighton, United Kingdom ahau.
My association with Abel Tasman National Park goes back 9 years when I first visited the place as a tourist I have worked in the national park for 2 years. I'm passionate about wildlife, conservation and spending time in nature. Something I am super proud of achieving is uprooting my "normal" life in the United Kingdom and following my heart rather than my head to lead me here (cheesy but it's true!) A few favourite moments of mine from the Abel Tasman is having a young seal pup on my kayak and experiencing the phosphorescent plank-tonic organisms.
Justin – Head skipperKia ora, I'm Justin from Motueka.
I've been around the national park since I was a little kid. It has been my playground ever since. I've been working for 17 years and I'm passionate about the area, the outdoors, my wife and two boys. I am proud of growing into a good person after a slow start. My favourite thing about the Abel Tasman is coming back each day.
Christie – SkipperKia ora, Ko Christie tōku ingoa, Nō Tasman Bays ahau.
My association with Abel Tasman National Park goes back to when I was a kid camping every summer in Totaranui. I have worked in the national park for 3 yearsI'm passionate and proud to be teaching Tai Chi. It is a huge achievement for me to be a trainer.
Tom – Head Operations ManagerKia ora, Ko Tom tōku ingoa, Nō Wales ahau.
This is my 4th year working in the national park and it all started when I was visiting a friend here for Christmas. I had no idea that I would still be loving it and currently enjoying the best summer of our lives. I'm passionate about music and surfing. I'm most proud of leaving the United Kingdom with no idea where I'm going – it was a leap of faith. The people in the Abel Tasman area are what I like the most.
Jeremy – Operations ManagerKia ora, Ko Jeremy tōku ingoa, Nō Ōtepoti ahau.
My association with the Abel Tasman National Park goes back four years. I was originally introduced to this area in 2015 and have loved it ever since. I'm passionate about learning and trying new things. I'm proud of achieving my pen license in 2001, becoming the Bush Croquet kids champion in 2011 and personal expedition cycling via pushbike from Bali, Indonesia to Penang Island, Malaysia. I've had too many incredible experiences in the national park to name them all but some top experiences are – meeting an Astronaut, kayaking with Orca but making a connection with the guests tops it all.
Mel – The Pie Cart CafeKia ora my name is Mel and I've been working in the area for 6 years.
I am originally from Westport. I am passionate about friends, family & food. I'm proud to have come this far in my life! My favourite part of the Abel Tasman is winter & the people here. Such a small and amazing community surrounded by sunshine.
Moose – Base Crew SupportKia ora, my name is Moose and you can call me Moose for short.
My association with the Abel Tasman goes back 6 years and I've been working here for 4 of those. I'm originally from the mean streets of Auckland's East Suburbs. I'm most passionate about adventuring in the outdoors and having long hair. I am super proud of achieving a great work life balance. My most memorable Abel Tasman experience is hiking the 7 day inland and coastal loop.
Mark – Base Crew Support/FixerKia ora, Ko Mark tōku ingoa, Nō Taranaki region ahau
I have worked in the national park for 12 weeks. I'm passionate about life and nature. I am super proud of raising my kids. My favourite part about the Abel Tasman National Park is its beauty.
Luke – Base Crew Support/Trainee GuideKia ora, I'm Luke.
My association with the national park goes back to growing up in the region and tramping through the park as a child. I have worked in the national park for one season. I am from Upper Moutere and am passionate about having new experiences in the outdoor environment.