• 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

Our guide was excellent, we had a fantastic time kayaking in the Tasman Sea. The scenery is beautiful, the kayaking great. Love the rock formations and the history of the area. Very interesting. We opted out of kayaking over to seal island as it was windy and rough. After kayaking we had coffee on the beach and hiked over to another beach to sail back... read more

Kristin B

Amazing guided kayak day with our guide Traf, with ample viewings of wildlife and nature, including stingrays, native New Zealand birds, fur seals and wekas. Our kids are 13, 11, and 8 so we worried that a full day of kayaking would be tiering, but we found the level very doable. We had planned ahead of time to have a half day of kayaking and a half day of walking... read more


Wij hebben gekozen voor een hele dag kajakken, zonder de wandeling, om zo meer van het Marine Reserve te kunnen ontdekken. Na een korte introductie konden we op pad. De watertaxi naar het beginpunt was al beter dan verwacht. De gids nam er alle tijd voor en liet ons al het één en ander zien waar we door het getij wellicht later niet mee bij konden.

Daarna volgde een korte...
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We were a large tour group so half of us walked to Apple Tree Bay while the other half kayaked there. The walk in was amazing as it just hits you how beautiful nature is and how appreciative I become that it is still relatively unspoilt. We enjoyed the cooler weather and had a picnic on the beach before we swapped to kayaking.Our guide Issac did a beautiful karakia with... read more

Tim S

Our guide was great, super knowledgeable and brought lots of positive energy.
The views were amazing, we saw lots of wildlife and with the high tide we paddled through 3 beautiful lagoons.
The lunch was also delicious!


I had a great tour with Abel Tasman Kayaks. All the staff I met at the base were great, and the guide for my kayaking - Gareth - was very friendly and informative. It was awesome that we got a ride on a tractor to get to the beach with the kayaks. The kayaking part of the tour was my favourite, Gareth gave some awesome commentary and stayed at the... read more



Enjoying lunch and a coffee in the Abel Tasman.
Islands stealing the foreground, and there are three waiting to be explored in the Abel Tasman. 🏝️🗺️
Blue skies and granite coastline ❤️ the Abel Tasman.
Spotting playful Kekeno (NZ Fur seals) around Tonga Island Marine Reserve. Pointy noses, long whiskers, and visible ears are some of their distinguishing features. They are found living in multiple spots along the stunning Abel Tasman coastline.
Walking the Abel Tasman.
Exploring Awaroa ❤️ options of kayaking and walking!
Sailing home with a sea breeze - A sea breeze, is the result of uneven land and water heating. During the day, the land surface heats up faster than the water surface. The air above the land is warmer than the air above the ocean which creates the breeze.
Say hello to the best summer yet, explore the Abel Tasman.
Cleopatras pool is a 20 min side trip on the Abel Tasman. Known for its natural waterslide it is a great place to cool off on a hot day.