Join us on our Remote Marine Reserve tour. This is a stunning trip where we have tailored our start and finish points around the tide timetable, it means on any given departure we offer the best part of the park to explore the marine reserve to the fullest. The park’s rocky coastline is a haven for a myriad of marine life and is always a fascinating place to explore. Abel Tasman Kayaks is one of only three operators authorised to undertake marine mammal viewing from sea kayaks at Tonga.

Start Awaroa/Finish Bark Bay

Starting at Awaroa, courtesy of our water taxi transfer, we visit Shag Harbour*, a hidden inlet like nowhere else in the Abel Tasman. We then paddle south, focusing on the Tonga Island Marine Reserve and its playful inhabitants – the NZ fur seal, Kekeno. After a picnic lunch on one of the beautiful beaches, we’ll visit Tonga Arches, exploring south along the carved granite coastline through to the tranquil lagoons and golden sand of the ‘heart of the park’ to Bark Bay.

Start Onetahuti/Finish Anchorage

Paddle from Onetahuti out to Tonga Island where you’ll have your first encounters with New Zealand fur Seals, Kekeno.  Paddle south with the breeze, exploring sculptured granite headlands, tranquil lagoons and everything that’s special about the heart of the Abel Tasman. Check out the beach you stop for lunch at! Finish at Anchorage and return to Marahau by water taxi.

Paddling is our business, with all activities supported by our purpose-built kayak base, free hot showers, free wifi, free equipment storage & client transporters. We also provide high-quality soft gear – fitted for each client by our guides and high-quality hard gear – customised for comfort for each client.

On this trip covering the Tonga Island Marine Reserve coastline, you have a professional guide with you for around 8 hours sharing their knowledge and passion of the Abel Tasman. We also cater a snack and lunch designed around your health and energy.

Every trip is unique like each of our clients.

*Start & finish tide dependent

 

Price

$250pp

Duration

1 Day

  • Check-in: 8.15 am
  • Open: Departs Sat & Tues Nov – Feb, daily Jan, Sat only in Mar. On request outside of these times
  • Age: Minimum 12 years, under the age of 18 you need to be accompanied by an adult on a 1 to 1 ratio
  • Food: Includes lunch
  • Paddling: Approximately 4 hrs interspersed with breaks. No prior experience required
  • Abel Tasman Great Walk: No
  • Water Taxi: Two water taxi cruises
  • Bus: $50 Nelson return, $20 Motueka return operating 1 Nov – 31 Mar. On request outside of these times

Trip Map

Departure Times

Itinerary

  • 8.15am
    Check in and meet your guide.
    8.30am
    Water Taxi.
  • Awaroa - Bark Bay

    9.45am
    Arrive Awaroa.
    10.00am
    Kayak from Awaroa to Bark Bay. Total kayak time approx 4 hrs with breaks.
    1.15pm
    Enjoy lunch in the Onetahuti area.
    3.30pm
    Arrive Bark Bay.
    3.45pm
    Water Taxi to Marahau.
  • Onetahuti - Anchorage

    9.30am
    Arrive Onetahuti.
    9.45am
    Kayak from Awaroa to Bark Bay. Total kayak time approx 4 hrs with breaks.
    12.30pm
    Enjoy lunch in the Bark Bay area.
    3.45pm
    Arrive Anchorage.
    4.00pm
    Water Taxi to Marahau.
  • All

    4.30pm
    Arrive back in Marahau.

*Please note this is an estimate of timings and based on our summer 8.15am check-in. There may be times when this trip will be reversed.

What to bring

Please bring personal water bottle, hat, sunscreen, insect repellent, towel, swimsuit, warm top (wool or fleece), wind jacket, a change of clothes, cameras and any medication.

We Provide

A double kayak, buoyancy vest, paddle, spray skirt, paddle jacket, dry bags for cameras and of course an awesome Abel Tasman Kayaks guide.

FAQS

  • More FAQ’s

    A full list of our FAQ’s can be found here and our Covid-19 ones here

  • 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 additional measures have you put in place?

    On Saturday 21 March 2021 Abel Tasman Kayaks felt it was our social responsibility to support the broader societal efforts to slow down the spread of the Corona Virus and closed before the New Zealand Government alert levels were in place. It was the first time in our history we had closed the doors. This decision was deliberate and made from care for members of our communities who are more vulnerable to the grave impacts of this virus, and to keep our customers, staff and extended families safe. The health and safety of people lied at the heart of this decision and we will continue to have that as our guiding principal during the Cov19 situation.

    • We encourage you to book online to limit contact with office staff.
    • Pay wave installed for those paying in the office.
    • Additional hand sanitiser available in the office and base.
    • Staff will not come to work if they have been requested to self-isolate/quarantine, or have symptoms of COVID-19, or are awaiting COVID-19 test results.
    • In the event that a positive test returns by anyone who has been in contact with us (staff or customers), we will immediately follow process in containing via shutdown, alerting authorities and producing the contact information required to the Nelson Marlborough District Health Board.

    If we move from level 1 upwards we will reinstate the below measures.

    • Spacing guidelines on the floor for check in to ensure social distancing.
    • Setting kayaks out 1 meter apart unless customers are travelling in a bubble group.
    • More frequent cleaning of high touch areas throughout the day.
    • More frequent cleaning of toilets throughout the day.
    • Allocated toilet blocks, one for staff and the other for clients.
    • Kayaks and gear will be cycled over 4 day periods. When kayaks and gear are returned they will be thoroughly cleaned in disinfectant and left to dry and sit for 4 days before being in the pool of equipment.
    • A maximum of 4 persons in the tractor transporters.
    • A Maximum of 4 People in vans.
    • A maximum of 10 people in the bus.
    • All vehicles will be thoroughly disinfected after each use.
    • Customers travelling by water taxi shall be seated alone with 1m between spaced between each person. A maximum of 10 people in the taxi at any given time.
    • All vehicles will be thoroughly disinfected after each use

    We will continue to keep up to date with information from the Ministry of Health www.health.govt.nz guidelines and adjust as and when required.

  • Are you operating your normal range of trips and services during level 1?

    We are offering all our rental trips under level 1. Please give us a call to discuss on 03 527 8022 or book online.

  • What is your cancellation policy under Covid-19?

    Our standard cancellation policy applies, however if the New Zealand Government moves the alert level to above 2 ; you have been requested to self-isolate/quarantine, you have symptoms of COVID-19, or are awaiting COVID-19 test result you will receive a full refund excluding any accommodation costs incurred or you can transfer your trip to another date with no fees applied. We strongly recommend international customers hold off booking until they are sure they can undertake their travel, please note there is currently a 14 day quarantine period to enter New Zealand and our borders are closed to non-residents. If you are an international customer booking from overseas from July 2020 our standard cancellation policy applies please wait until the borders are reopened before booking.

  • What measures do you have in place for contact tracing?
    Under the New Zealand Government’s COVID-19 Alert Level 2, we are required to keep a contact register of customers and contractors and all customers are required to scan the QR code when onsite. We will also capture personal details through our reservation system.

     

  • Water Taxi Pricing

    Our water taxi pricing can be found here.

  • 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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