• Preparation & Planning

    Preparation & Planning

Base Facility

Our purpose built kayak base is ideally placed to prepare you for your trip and relax afterwards. We have the most comprehensive base facilities in the park

  • GPS safety tracking for rentals
  • free Wifi
  • hot showers
  • secure parking
  • lock up for personal belongings
  • purpose built transfer vehicles to get you and your kayaks to the water’s edge regardless of weather or tide

Base facilities

Guided briefing

Safety is our priority and there is nothing safer than having a trained guide with you.  As you are not going it alone, the need for an extended version of our rental safety briefing is not required.  On our guided trips we start with a short group briefing covering the essentials and then we get into our trip leaving more time to explore and experience the beautiful Abel Tasman coastline.

Preparation & Planning - Abel Tasman Kayaks

Rental safety briefing

As the only company specialising in kayak rentals, we provide a comprehensive safety briefing. This covers everything: from packing, kayak technique, weather and planning/modifying the journey, stowage and sea-conditions, map interpretation, to those important emergency procedures plus the added advantage of our secrets of the park that we let you know about before you leave. That’s where we know we add value to your trip.  We also run through information from looking after the top quality gear to enjoying the purpose built base facilities.

1 Day allow 1 – 1.5 hrs for the briefing

2+ Days allow 2-3 hrs for the briefing

Once packed and briefed on land, your instructor will initially accompany your group on the water to cover the last part of the briefing and will ensure you are feeling comfortable and competent before waving you off on your adventure.

We have a few requirements which you must meet before we can allow you out on your own:

  • Minimum group size 2 (no solo hires)
  • Age Limit: 18 years +
  • Younger participants may be considered provided that all 14+ years participants are accompanied by an adult (18+)  on a 1:1 ratio
  • Must demonstrate your ability to kayak before leaving our instructor

Passed this? Congratulations!

If you have not met our requirements don’t worry, we will be delighted to show you around the breathtaking sights of Abel Tasman on one of their exciting guided tours!

In the unlikely event you need to self rescue we have put together an instructional video. These steps are covered off in your rental briefing which you practice on land before you head out onto the water.


For Classics and rentals of two days or more, we use Paddling Perfection double fibreglass kayaks with a built-in rudder system. These purpose-built boats have 3 water-tight chambers for gear storage (approximately 300 litres). Specially designed for expedition paddling, these kayaks are stable, comfortable and fast.

For 1 day  guided and 1 day rentals, we use Dobbe Eco-Niizhdouble kayaks. These plastic moulded kayaks have three hatches, the middle being a watertight centre “pod” for gear storage (approximately 80 litres). With a built-in rudder system, these stable kayaks are perfect for one day trips, or shorter multi-day adventures.

Check out packing and gear storage tips for both the Paddling Perfection or Dobbe Eco-Niizhdouble.

Preparation & Planning - Abel Tasman Kayaks



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What our customers say

What a bummer it happened to be the only day of the week that rained the whole day of the tour. A change of dates was offered but we had a bus to catch the next day. Still getting to see so many seals also made the time worthwhile. Our guide Nadia has been an absolute gem :) She tried her best to make the positives out of the day,... read more


We booked the half day kayak tour to Observation Beach and everything was fantastic. Our guide Darryl was great- super knowledgeable about the area, funny and full of stories. We saw loads of sea lions, birds, golden beaches, sea caves and had fun exploring the coastline. Had a relaxing snack and tea/coffee on the beach before continuing on our self-guided trip back down the Abel Tasman track to Motueka. The... read more


Ontzettend genoten. Gekozen om s’ochtends een halve dag te kayakken en dan naar Anchorage te lopen en daar de pithol-loop te doen. Goede begeleiding en tijd ook voor gezelligheid, goede lunch gehad. Hoop info mee over Abel Tasman en de eilandjes. Zelfs wat seals gezien. Top.


We did the 2 night 3 day ‘remote coast overnighter’ option, with the first day a guided kayak through the marine reserve, followed by two nights walking out of the park, camping at the end of the kayaking day at Bark Bay and the second night at Anchorage. Both campsites were stunning beaches as all of them are. Bark Bay was camping on the sand back from the beach,... read more


We booked in to do the half day seal sanctuary kayaking in early October 2019, and I’m very glad we did. We had such an amazing day with Abel Tasman kayaks - our guide Nicole was amazing, providing us with really clear and easy instructions, keeping us safe on the water, and sharing her knowledge about the area including its history and wildlife (as well as food and walk recommendations... read more

Lisa R

Great half day kayak trip with Georgia and Brody! Lots of good info about the area from them both. It was a bit rainy when we started, but ended up being a really beautiful day complete with seals and a killer beach. Would recommend.

Lauren S


Low tide crossing at stunning Awaroa Estuary.
Koro (Grandfather) and Kuia (Grandmother) our water taxi names reflect our desire to share and tell stories of the Abel Tasman.  The Abel Tasman National Park may have been gazetted as a national park in 1942 but its history dates back at least 700 years.
Beachside camping ❤
Even Weka can't resist a stunning sunrise! 🌅 Also known as the Māori hen or woodhen, Weka are the most common flightless birds in the Abel Tasman National Park.
Mother Nature showcasing a stunning palette of colors! 🌈
Smooth landing! perfect landing 👌 🚣‍♂️
Accessible and stunning coastline! 💖 Abel Tasman
Discovering the various lagoons and estuaries along the coastline, each with its own unique features.😊
Paddling during shoulder season: crisp, clear days and fewer crowds. 🚣‍♂️☀️ #QuietAdventures 
Photo credit @whatdoesbassee
Keep your 👀 eyes peeled for these guys around the park! At this time of the year, there are a lot of pups around.