• 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

Full day of kayaking. Numerous Fur seals and birds seen. Beautiful scenery. Louisa was a great guide with lots of information about history, animals, birds, flora, fauna, tides, marine life etc.


We had a fantastic day , superbly organised from start to finish. Our guide was excellent , felt really safe but was also an adventure and really good fun. Opportunity to see wildlife up close, time to swim, explore remote little bays.
A fantastic day.


we had a great time with this company on the ocean and when we camped . before you go i would check what you are going to eat .


We all knew that the trip would be special when we needed more coffee and salami on the first day, and our humble guide Roy (or “Lolli” in Australian) announced that we would be getting “better than average” salami after being grilled about the quality. Our 3-day classic was completely brilliant, with excellent company, excellent food, excellent weather, excellent adventures, and better than average salami (which was excellent too). Roy... read more


Had a half day kayak with Balveer. He was friendly and informative and catered well to the needs of our small family group. Aside from talking about the area, he was a really interesting guy just to talk to. My son loved chewing the fat with him.


We did a trip for 5 days walking to Awaroa lodge for a day and than guided 3 day kayak trip back to Maharau
This trip will be always remembered as we made many memories
The team at ABT did a great job with customizing the trip and we had a great guide in Whitey
Throughly recommend this experience