• Faqs

    Frequently Asked Questions

When planning a trip there are always a few questions. The following FAQ’s are the ones we get asked most often. If you have any others please feel free to contact us.

  • What is the minimum age for guided kayaking?

    Guided customers need to be 12+. Under the age of 18  you need to be accompanied by an adult for all tours excluding Split Apple Classic. The age for Split Apple Classic Guided is 8+ and anyone under the age of 18 needs to be accompanied by an adult.

  • Custom Holidays

    If you have explored our site you will see we have a broad range of options from half day trips through to five day trips. All of these trips can be modified to meet your individual needs.  Fill out this form below and we’ll help plan and book the perfect trip for you

  • What is the minimum age for renting a kayak?

    Rental customers need to be 14+ and anyone under the age of 18 needs to be accompanied by an adult.

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

    If your trip requires you to bring your own food we recommend purchasing this before you get to Marahau. We do sell a few small snack items and drinks. There is a small store in Marahau but the nearest supermarket is in Motueka.  Check your confirmation or trip description to see the food requirements for the tour you have selected. Food suggestions can also be found here.

  • Where can we get drinking water?

    Filtered drinking water is available at : our base, Anchorage, Bark Bay, Awaroa, Totaranaui 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 toilets in the park?

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

  • What do I do with my rubbish?

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

  • 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 a total fire ban may apply.

  • 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:

    NIWA National Park forecast

    Abel Tasman coastal forecast

    Short forecast for Abel Tasman area

  • 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.

  • Further information on the Abel Tasman National Park can be found at the following sites:
  • What do I need to bring

    On each tour or your email confirmation is a list of what to bring or check our generic checklist

  • 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.

  • Is food included on our tour?

    Lunch is included on all our guided tours. It is one of the great reasons to go on a trip with Abel Tasman Kayaks. Summer lunches are a freshly baked roll filled with local produce, home made energy balls, fruit, fresh plunger coffee and local juice.  In winter we offer hot seasonal soup, home made bread rolls, fresh plunger coffee and local juice. Vegetarian and dietary requirements can be catered for, please ask at time of booking. Two, Three & Five Day Classic’s are fully catered. Two Day & Three Day Tiki Tour trips require some catering by you. Check out the trip description to see what meals are required.

     

     

  • Is food included?

    All kayak rentals & kayak & walk rentals are self catered (unless you have opted to add lunch for day 1 at time of booking) the trip description provides suggestions of meals. Be sure to bring enough food for your whole journey, food tips can be found here. We recommend purchasing this before you get to Marahau. Make sure you bring plenty of fresh water with you. Filtered water is available at our base and hut sites, untreated water is available at the campsites.  

     

  • 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.

  • Can I take my camera or phone?

    Yes, we have camera cases to keep cameras dry.

  • Do you use double or single kayaks?

    We use double kayaks on all our guided tours. If you are an odd number booking a rental then one of you will be in a single and the rest in doubles. 

  • If I am on my own can I rent a kayak?

    It’s possible to join a guided trip if you’re a solo traveller. We will pair you with another guest or a guide. No rentals are available to solo kayakers due to safety.

  • How fit do I have to be?

    An average level of fitness is required for kayaking trips. Guides instruct clients on easy ways to paddle and you will rapidly develop your skills.

  • Are there any height and weight restrictions?

    Weight restrictions is a hard query because it has a lot to do with where the weight is on the body and your height . Econizh kayak cockpits are 41cm wide at their widest, Sea bear kayaks are 47cm wide, if you are larger than this at the bottom / hip area you will be unable to kayak. Most people are able to kayak, but if you’d like to double check please give us a call to discuss.

    Height, if you are taller than 6ft 3″ (188cm) you will struggle to get into an Econizh kayak. If you are taller than 6ft 7″ (198cm) you may not fit in a kayak at all and you WILL need to try a kayak before you commence your trip. Please chat with staff to discuss so we can advise appropriately.

     

  • Can I go kayaking if I get sea-sick?

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

  • Can I go if I’m pregnant?

    It may be possible to kayak if you’re pregnant.  Please call us directly to discuss on 03 527 8022.

  • Can I go if I’ve got my period?

    Yes you can but please bring a bag (gladbag or similar) to pack out used sanitary items. There is a basin or tap near all toilets for washing hands. All rubbish needs to be taken out as we operate in a national park.

  • Where and what time do I check in?

    Check-in is at Abel Tasman Kayaks 273 Sandybay-Marahau Rd, Marahau

    Check in time is seasonal, generally Summer (1 Sept – 30 Apr)  8.15 am  & Winter (1 May – 31 Aug) 9.00 am check-in. Please check your confirmation email or the trip itinerary as some trips do start later.

  • What are your opening hours for booking?

    You can book online any time (up until 7am the day of travel). Our phone lines are open from 7:30am – 8.00pm +64 3 527 8022 and our office at 273 Sandybay Marahau Rd from 8am – 5pm.

  • How far in advance do you recommend booking?

    We recommend booking ahead especially over Dec, Jan & Feb. We have live availability online.

  • 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 if I’m not a strong swimmer?

    If you are worried about swimming we suggest you choose a guided tour. Strong swimming skills are not essential for rentals, but we recommend you let your instructor know if you are not a confident swimmer.  

  • 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. This needs to be put inside large plastic bags to fit into the hatches.

  • Do I need any previous kayaking experience to rent a kayak?

    While past kayaking experience is desirable, a reasonable level of camping and outdoor skills and water confidence is essential. Before you go out on a kayaking trip you are briefed by a qualified sea kayak guide who is very familiar with the park and will provide you with information about places to go, how far you are likely to get in the time you have and information on safety, weather and sea conditions.

  • Do you hire camping gear?

    Yes, from gas bottles to a full set of gear. It can be booked online at time of booking or over the phone. a full list can be found here. These items are subject to availability.

  • How many people go on a guided trip?

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

  • What time do trips finish?

    Check the trip itinerary for finish times. As a general rule summer (1 Oct – 30 Apr) full day guided tours return by 4.30 pm and winter (1 May – 30 Sept) by 4.00 pm. Rentals are due back at our base by 4:00 pm in the summer and 3:30 pm in the winter. This is for operational and safety reasons.

  • 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.

  • 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 trip on safety grounds if we consider that the wind and sea conditions are unsafe for the group. This is our decision. In this situation we give a full refund please see our cancellation policy.

What our customers say

We opted for a half day freedom (unguided) rental as we just wanted a taste of kayaking this beautiful area and didn't have a huge amount of time.
We started our day with a very professional safety briefing which covered all aspects of kayaking, use of equipment, how to get in and out safely, righting the boat if you capsize etc. We were fitted with spray skirts which was great...
read more


AucklandWiz

We chose to hike part of the Able Tasman Track, and went with Able Tasman Kayaks who were dropping off a bunch of kayakers. We continued on board this fantastic fast boat and had an awesome tour of the whole area, then were dropped off at the beautiful Observation Beach so we could walk back out. It was an amazing day and the staff at Able Tasman Kayaks were... read more


693LindaJ693

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

I did the 3 day tiki tour as a solo female traveller and found it an amazing experience. Everything was well organised and I had great communication from Abel Tasman Kayaks in relation to my questions prior to and post booking. Each staff member I dealt with was great from those who were emailing me back, those at their base, those who did the water taxi driving and those who... read more


impulsivekiwi

Totally recommend. Thx Moose!! Wonderful kayak instructor, educator and all round lovely person and thanx Wally and Chris plus the lovely person who provides lunch! We loved our experience. Not so much Awaroa lodge.
Thx team


NZfoodie2014

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


L7624ZLadrianm

#ABELTASMANKAYAKS

The scenery is amazing above the water in the Abel The scenery is amazing above the water in the Abel Tasman, but below the water it is pretty special as well.
Pulling up to a beach anytime of the day in the Ab Pulling up to a beach anytime of the day in the Abel Tasman is magic!
What a way to get to the start spot.... What a way to get to the start spot....
Its's already fun exploring..... Its's already fun exploring.....
The Abel Tasman coastline is famous for it's rocky The Abel Tasman coastline is famous for it's rocky outcrops these little ones are fun to navigate around.
There's nothing like listening to the dawn chorus. There's nothing like listening to the dawn chorus... take a listen to one of Project Janszoon recordings, imagine waking up to this. https://www.janszoon.org/assets/audio/audio_korimako-bellbirds.mp3
. New Zealan's most accessible National Park. How .
New Zealan's most accessible National Park. How will you explore it?
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#abeltasmankayaks
#ilovenelsontasman
#nelsontasmannz
#abeltasman
#purenz 
#airnewzealandme #kayakingnz
#seakayaking
#seakayakingnz
#nelson
#nzmustdos
#natgeotravel
#aatraveller
#straytravel
#lonelyplanet
#flightcentreau #quantas #tripadviser #southislandnz #explorenz
#DoSomethingNewNZ
Waking up to this magical sunrise, you can nearly Waking up to this magical sunrise, you can nearly feel the warmth ... bring on summer! 
Credit@barekiwi

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#abeltasmankayaks
#ilovenelsontasman
#nelsontasmannz
#abeltasman
#purenz 
#airnewzealandme
#kayakingnz
#seakayaking
#seakayakingnz
#nelson
#nzmustdos
#natgeotravel
#aatraveller
#straytravel
#lonelyplanet
#flightcentreau
#quantas
#tripadviser
#southislandnz
#explorenz
#DoSomethingNewNZ
After a day adventuring there is nothing like rela After a day adventuring there is nothing like relaxing and having someone else cook for you. On our Classics we do that for you, so you can sit back and soak in your surroundings.

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#abeltasmankayaks
#ilovenelsontasman
#nelsontasmannz
#abeltasman
#purenz 
#airnewzealandme
#kayakingnz
#seakayaking
#seakayakingnz
#nelson
#nzmustdos
#natgeotravel
#aatraveller
#straytravel
#lonelyplanet
#flightcentreau
#quantas
#tripadviser
#southislandnz
#explorenz
#DoSomethingNewNZ
Capturing the moment in the Abel Tasman National P Capturing the moment in the Abel Tasman National Park! Thanks @barekiwi 

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#abeltasmankayaks

#ilovenelsontasman

#nelsontasmannz

#abeltasman

#purenz 

#airnewzealandme

#kayakingnz

#seakayaking

#seakayakingnz

#nelson

#nzmustdos

#natgeotravel

#aatraveller

#straytravel

#lonelyplanet

#flightcentreau

#quantas

#tripadviser

#southislandnz

#explorenz

#DoSomethingNewNZ
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