• Environment - Abel Tasman Kayaks

    Environment & Sustainability

We have a very special place here. The Abel Tasman National Park is a profoundly beautiful coastal paradise that has been enjoyed by many cultures over many centuries.

It is an environment that we share with many life forms on both land and sea. As we protect and enhance the Abel Tasman’s natural balance, we guard its soul. We hope you are inspired to take something special away from us to share in your environment back home. We have absolute reverence for this special place and it is our privilege to now share it with you.

Toitū te Marae a Tāne – Through the sustainability
Toitū te marae a Tongaroa – of the forest and ocean
Toitū te Iwi – humanity will endure

Gaining a Department of Conservation (DOC) concession as well as a DOC Marine Mammal Watching Permit means we can take our guests right into the park to visit the NZ Fur Seal Colony on Tonga Island in the Marine Reserve.

Abel Tasman Soul Ltd is a trusted leader in providing quality kayaking experiences while demonstrating respect for the long-term health of our environment and the community impact. Our management team recognises that the company’s commercial activities can impact the environment and the community. We therefore subscribe to the following environmental protection principles.

Minimizing direct impacts on the environment by monitoring our operations and continuing to be proactively involved in projects to protect and restore the biodiversity of the area.

  • Working with employees, customers, shareholders, suppliers, the local community and any other interested parties to identify their needs and support them in our commitments to the environment.
  • Creating an understanding of, and responsibility to, minimizing our daily impacts on the local environment.
  • Identifying both short and long term effects of operations, and in response, reduce any negative effects to as minimal as possible.

In order to achieve the above objectives, we:

  • Work to gain employees’ commitment to the positive aspects of sustainable tourism and their awareness of the importance and benefits of minimizing negative effects on the environment.
  • Promote our commitment through the use of local and sustainable product supply.
  • Continue to review current business practices, identify areas of improvement and create plans to meet our commitments towards a more sustainable future for tourism in the Abel Tasman.
  • Our full plan can be read here

Our Intiatives

  • Objectives 2021 - 2022
    • Retain our Enviro Gold from Qualmark.
    • Become more vocal advocates for Qualmark Enviro Gold using the  Leave No Trace program as a facilitator to make our environmental message stronger to our clients. Through this program guides will be able to led clients by example and educate them in environmental messages.
    • Continue to leverage our SMART operator status with customer as leaders in sustainable marine mammal viewing through intensive staff training, responsible advertising, and education.
    • Train our new guides in the  Leave No Trace philosophy and use this as the base for educating our clients about the environment.
    • Champion our Soul Food trip as the only eco-friendly low impact tour available in the park.
    • Continue promoting our meat free lunches, to cut down on our carbon footprint, live sustainably and promote healthy diets.
    • Improve on last seasons container café food prep using only fully biodegradable produces sourced from eco-packaging. This will provide more control around waste on all of trips as everything will be catered in-house.
    • We will monitor and measure our energy consumption and look for a reduction in cost and usage through continuous improvement.
    • 90% of eco-friendly light bulbs in situ.
    • Provide a shed and electricity at no cost for the Birdsong Trust trapping program.
    • Weave the Tikai Promise through our business and consider where it would be appropriate to use the logo and messages.
    • Complete the Tourism Industry Aotearoa New Zealand Tourism Sustainability annual audit.
    • Ensure our environmental message stronger to our clients. Through this program guides will be able to led clients by example and educate them in environmental messages.
  • Community Activities
    • Abel Tasman Birdsong Trust – Proud founding members and financial supporters – 10c per person each time you cross the park’s foreshore is given to the trust. The aim of the trust: The forests and beaches of Abel Tasman are once again filled with the birdsong that awakens and delights visitors.
    • Sponsor in kind prizes and trips for local schools, charities, Nelson Tasman Tourism and Tourism New Zealand. Product is provided to the community each year to educate and showcase the Abel Tasman.
    • Sponsoring Mahana School in the Tasman Bay Gaurdians program.
    • Provided two water taxis and staff for the Abel Tasman Coastline cleanup.
    • Abel Tasman Soul operates an intern program for NMIT students who have completed studies.
    • Jack Kelly is on the NMIT Tourism Advisory board, Industry Advisory Board & Tasman Bays Promotion Committee.
  • Employee Commitment

    Employees: training and regular employee communications, ensuring that employees are made aware of, and comply with, environmental laws, by-laws and company environmental policies and procedures, and that each employee actively fulfils their role in environmental responsibility. We work to gain employees’ commitment to the positive aspects of sustainable tourism and their awareness of the importance and benefits of minimizing negative effects on the environment.  We continue to review with staff current business practices, identify areas of improvement and create plans to meet our commitments towards a more sustainable future for tourism in the Abel Tasman.

    Leave No Trace refers to a set of outdoor ethics promoting conservation in the outdoors. It is built on seven principles: Plan ahead and prepare, travel and camp on durable surfaces, dispose of waste properly, leave what you find, minimize campfire impacts, respect wildlife, and be considerate of other visitors. Abel Tasman Kayaks has invested in guides undertaking a two day training course with all guides. Abel Tasman Kayakscovered the cost for guides. On completion of guide training the whole organisation has become A Leave no Trace organisation. Our intention for this program is to be able to led by example to show our clients respect for the environment and others and in turn that they take what they have learnt and that they take back to their local environment, to incrementally effect positive change on the planet.

    SMART  (Sustainable Marine Mammal Actions in Recreation and Tourism)  As demand for viewing experiences with marine mammals has increased, so too has the pressure on these animals by both tourism and recreational vessels. Numerous studies have documented the effects reckless viewing can have on marine mammals – these include changes in behaviour, boat strike, and reducing the opportunity for feeding, resting, and socialising. Abel Tasman Kayaks has committed to the SMART program and has trained staff in the Departement of Conservation SMART principals to ensure we have minimal disturbance on the marine life in the park.

    We also support NMIT in their training of Adventure Tourism students. We have an intern program for newly qualified guides to gain experience in industry.

  • Minimize impact

    We minimize direct impacts on the environment by monitoring our operations and continuing to be proactively involved in projects to protect and restore the biodiversity of the area. Working with employees, customers, shareholders, suppliers, the local community and any other interested parties to identify their needs and support them in our commitment to the environment. Creating an understanding and responsibility to, minimize our daily impacts on the local environment. Identifying both short and long term effects of operations, and in response, reduce any negative effects to a minimum.

  • Monitoring
    • Qualmark Enviro Gold mark. This means we have met minimum requirements in this area, and gone a little extra and are actively participating in energy efficiency; conservation initiatives; waste management & community activities.
    • Monthly monitoring: fuel/electricity/land fill and recycling – we are always looking at ways of reducing our uses of resources.
    • Regular maintenance of all vehicles/tractors
  • Water conservation
    • Filling one bath load of water rather than running the hose to rinse kayaking gear.
  • Waste Management
    • Using refillable dispensers where appropriate eg soaps, sunscreen, use local caterers where possible – eg all lunches come from Motueka, coffee from Riwaka
    • Composting all left over food scraps
    • Recycling – plastics, tins, paper, glass

What our customers say

Very good briefing to ensure safety etc. Guide was clear and humorous and had lots of knowledge of natural history to make things interesting. Lunch on beach very good, coffee and fruit too. Beautiful coastline and weather was great. We walked back along Able Tasman path, really good. Great way to spend 4-5 hours! Would fully recommend.


11prusom

SIMPLY DO IT!! I can't heap enough praise on this full day trip. If the tides are on your side, start from Awaroa Bay and kayak past the seals to Shag Harbour. This place is not to be missed - a beautiful peaceful natural harbour that is just incredible to experience. On our trip the winds were right and we were able to join the kayaks together and sail to... read more


Superpear

The day kayak/walk was the highlight of our trip, we loved it (even the teenagers!). Darryl our guide was fantastic - he was so informative, knowledgeable and had lots of yarns to tell along the way. With no prior kayak experience, the paddle in the morning was a perfect amount of time on the water. The walk to Anchorage and then the Pitt Head loop... read more


SunHol1

We did a trip for 5 days walking to Awaroa lodge for a day and than guided 3 day kayak trip back to Maharau
This trip will be always remembered as we made many memories
The team at ABT did a great job with customizing the trip and we had a great guide in Whitey
Throughly recommend this experience


Andyoto

Awesome trip!!! Our guide was very funny, friendly and knowledgeable. We spended 2 days in Abel Tasman and were overhelmed by the beautiful nature. I can only recommend this experience.


christian_onroad

Friend and I did a two day kayak and walk. Started with kayak on day one. The kayak was all packed with our overnight camp gear we hired from the place. Location and parking was easy. Good safety demonstration and a short ride to launch site on back of tractor/trailer. Site had a good setup with shower and toilet facilities. Staff were very helpful on arrival and departure. Camp gear... read more


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