FAQ

The following FAQ's are the ones we get most often.

If you have any others please feel free to contact us.

How can I pay?

We accept cash, Visa and MasterCard. An Eftpos facility is available at our office. Money will be taken on confirmation of booking.

Can I pay on the day?

No, money will be taken on confirmation of booking.

Do I need to reconfirm my trip?

We recommend you check in with us 24hrs prior to your departure to reconfirm.

How far in advance do you recommend booking?

We recommend booking ahead. Click here to book online.

What time is your office open at Abel Tasman Kayaks?

In summer, we are open from 7:30am - 8:30pm.
In winter, we are open from 8:00am - 5:00pm. Our phone lines stay open till 8:00pm.

Do you operate every day?

We operate tours everyday except Christmas Day (25 Dec). We operate our trips seasonally, please check the open dates by the trip description.

What is your cancellation policy?

Click here to see our full terms and conditions.

Where and at what time do I check in?

Check in time is seasonal, please check the time on the trip description.

Where is your base?

Our base is located in, Marahau. Click here to see a map.

What time do trips finish?

Summer 1 Nov - 30 Apr

All full day tours return to our base at 4.30pm.

Half Day with Water Taxi 8.30am departure returns to our base at 1.15pm.

Half Day with Water Taxi 11.30am departure returns to our base at 4.30pm.

Seal Sanctuary 8.30am departure returns to our base at 3.00pm.

Two Day Classic returns to our base at 4.30pm, Three and Four Day Classic return to our base at 3.00/3.30pm.

Winter 1 May - 31 Oct

All winter full day tours return to our base at 4.00pm

Half Day and Water Taxi 9.00am departure returns to our base at 12.30pm.

What is the minimum age for kayaking?

All customers need to be 12+. Under the age of 16 you need to be accompanied by an adult for all tours.

Can I take my camera?

Yes, we have camera cases to keep cameras dry.

How much time do we spend kayaking?

This depends on the tour, the conditions and the group, see the paddling time under the trip duration information on the tour page.

Is food included?

Half Day Trips: For all half day tours you can purchase lunch for $15 or bring your own. Vegetarian and dietary requirements can be catered for, please ask at time of booking.

Day Trips: Lunch is included on all day tours. It is one of the great reasons to go on a trip with Abel Tasman Kayaks. Vegetarian and dietary requirements can be catered for, please ask at time of booking. Summer lunches are smoked chicken pita pockets, scrumptious chocolate cake, local salad, fruit, fresh plunger coffee and local juice. In winter we offer hot seasonal soup, home made bread rolls, fresh plunger coffee and local juice.

Overnight Trips: The Classic trips are all catered. Vegetarian and dietary requirements can be catered for, please ask at time of booking. Please see additional food requirements for Two Day Tiki and Three Day Tiki found on the downloadable itinerary and map pdf.

Is transport included in the price of the trip?

We have a small charge for transport. Click here to find our bus times and pick up points in Nelson or Motueka. We can do transport for Half Day & Water Taxi PM departure but please note that our bus leaves once a day from Nelson and returns once a day from Marahau.

How many people go on a guided trip?

We have a maximum ratio of 1 guide to 8 clients.

I am on my own can I join a trip?

You will either share a double kayak with another person or one of our guides.

How fit do I have to be to join a trip?

A minimal level of fitness is required for sea kayaking trips. The pace is always adjusted to suit the group and we have frequent comfort stops. Guides instruct clients on easy ways to paddle and you will rapidly develop your skills. Enthusiasm is more important than fitness.

What if I'm not a strong swimmer?

Strong swimming skills are not essential on guided tours. You will need to have a sense of adventure and enjoy spending time outdoors and on the water.

Can I go kayaking if I get sea-sick?

If you are prone to sea sickness then please take your medication as recommended.

Are there any height and weight restrictions?

Height - clients who are taller than 6ft 3" (188cm) will struggle to get into an Econizh kayak and should check with us at time of booking. Clients who are taller than 6ft 7" (198cm) may not fit in a kayak at all and WILL need to try a kayak before they commence the trip, again ask us at the time of booking.

Weight - this is harder because it has a lot to do with where the weight is on the body and the height of the client. Econizh kayak cockpits are 41cm wide at their widest, Sea bear kayaks are 47cm wide, any client who is larger than this at the bottom / hip area will be unable to kayak. Again check with us at time of booking. Most people are able to kayak.

Do you use double or single kayaks?

We use double kayaks on all our guided tours due to them being dryer to paddle. They have a superior load carrying capacity and stability in a variety of sea conditions.

How much gear/equipment can we store in our kayaks for an overnight trip?

You can easily fit the equivalent of approximately two large packs full of equipment in the dry storage areas of a double sea kayak (at least 225L). This needs to be put inside large plastic bags to fit into the hatches.

Do we go if it's raining?

Yes, bring along a rain jacket and an extra warm (wool/fleece) layer of clothing. Marine life is more active on rainy days.

When would Abel Tasman Kayaks cancel a trip?

Safety first. Our policy is not to launch a guided tour on safety grounds if we consider that the wind and sea conditions are unsafe for that group. This is our decision. In this situation we give a full refund. See our full cancellation policy.

Can we store our vehicle or extra luggage while we are out in the park?

We provide free storage of vehicles and extra luggage at our base.

What do I need to bring?

On each tour there is a downloadable itinerary and map with all the requirements of what to bring. Below is a summary as a quick reference. Please refer to each tour for specific information.

Half Day Trips:

t-shirt, shorts, sunhat, sunglasses, warm top, sandals, swimsuit and towel, medication, camera, sunscreen, insect repellent, water bottle and lunch if you have not ordered one.

Day Trips:
t-shirt, shorts, sunhat, sunglasses, warm top, sandals, swimsuit and towel, medication, camera, sunscreen, insect repellent, water bottle.

Overnight Trips:
Kayaking clothes: t-shirt, shorts, sunhat, sunglasses, warm top (wool/fleece), sandals, swimsuit and towel, medication.
Campsite clothing: long pants, t-shirt, long sleeved shirt, warm top (wool/fleece), shoes, rainproof jacket.
Personal items: medication, toiletries, camera, sunscreen, insect repellent, water for the duration of your trip, torch, sleeping bag (we can supply if required for Classic tours a small charge will apply for Tiki and Remote Coast overnighter tours).

Classic Tours are catered.

Remote Coast OvernighterTwo Day Tiki Tour, Three Day Tiki Tour are partially catered. Please download the itinerary and map to see what additional food is required.

Do I need hiking boots?

For walking the track, firm footwear is required, but boots are not essential, walking sandals or sports shoes are fine. We have a number of day trips that include walking and we recommend you bring these. Our Classic trips also might take a short walk in the evening.

Where can we get drinking water?

Filtered drinking water is available at the DOC Huts: Anchorage, Bark Bay, Awaroa and Whariwharangi. All campsites have water; however, this water must be boiled or treated. Water in the camp sites is piped from streams and is unsafe for consumption. Use only safe water (e.g. boiled, treated, filtered) for drinking, brushing teeth etc. In this regard Giardia is the main concern.

Are there jetties or boat ramps in the park?

There are no jetties or boat ramps in the park, and so you do get wet feet (at least) when boarding water taxis.

Can I light a campfire in the park?

There is a fire ban in the park, other than at designated sites. At certain times of the year the ban does not apply.

What do I do with my rubbish?

You must pack out all your rubbish. There are no rubbish disposal facilities in the park.

Are there any poisonous insects?

Sandflies are one of the nasties in the park. It is a small native insect which has an irritating bite. The use of insect repellent will ensure these insects do not annoy or bug you! Mosquitoes can also be a nuisance. Mosquitoes do not carry malaria in NZ. During the summer months, wasps and bees can be a problem, and are attracted to food, and may bite/sting if disturbed. If you are allergic, take medication with you (antihistamines). Please inform DoC staff of any wasp nests close to the track or camp sites.

Are there toilets in the park?

Yes, these are regularly cleaned and restocked with paper by park staff.

Can I buy food and drink in the Abel Tasman National Park?

We sell a few small snack items and drinks. There is a store in Marahau. The nearest supermarket is in Motueka. There are no stores in the Abel Tasman National Park.

What are your health and safety policies?

To view our health and safety policies click here. For more information on this please contact us directly.

What is the weather like?

Normally the weather in the Abel Tasman National Park is warm and sunny. The average summer temperature is 24 C (75 F), minimum temperature 13C (55F) and water temperature 18C (65F). During the cooler winter months the average daily maximum is 12C (54F), minimum temperature is 4C (39F), and the water is 14C (58F). Winds can occur during any time of the year, and can affect kayaking itineraries and timing. Autumn and early winter are generally calmer.

Current weather and forward forecasts can be viewed:

Abel Tasman coastal forecast

Short forecast for Abel Tasman area

  Day Night
Summer (Dec-Feb) 22 Degrees 13 Degrees
Autumn (Mar-May 18 Degrees 8 Degrees
Winter (June-Aug) 13 Degrees 3 Degrees
Spring (Sept-Nov) 17 Degrees 7 Degrees

 

Further information on the Abel Tasman National Park can be found at the following sites:

The Department of Conservation (DOC) and Nelson Tasman Tourism

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