• 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

This was a beautiful way to experience Abel Tasman and get close to the wildlife in the area. I did a tour that went the full day. We ended up doing good 4h of active kayaking, broken up by lunch and a few other stops. Gear and snacks/lunch were super tasty and the guides even packed up hot drinks (tea/coffee) for the beach. We had great sunny weather but it... read more


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


I booked the Earth, Sea, and Sky tour. If you want to explore the scenic Abel Tasman national park, Abel Tasman Kayaks is the company to do it with, plus they have various tours! The tour starts off in Torrent Bay (via water taxi) and you walk to Barker Bay (bring hiking shoes) where you'll see various bays, plants, wildlife, and other beautiful scenery. At Barker Bay, they had additional... read more

Travel Dude

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


My wife and I just returned from a 2 day trip with ATK - we started our adventure in Marahau and took a 40 minute water taxi up the coast to Awaroa. We’d have loved to do the 3 day trip which covers the same coastline but includes a few nature walks a however, we were NOT disappointed by the truncated experience. We were paired off with one other... read more

Tim R

We had a superb day in Abel Tasman. The team went out of their way to make the experience a great one. We Kayaked first due to tides, with Awatea as our kayak guide. He was knowledgeable about the area, and he kept us entertained throughout the trip. We had a fabulous picnic lunch and then got shuttled by boat to walk from Torrent Bay to... read more

Rowena E


Drifting through granite caves⛰️🚣‍♀️

 #nelsontasman #abeltasmankayaks
The wonders of Tonga Island Marine Reserve🐠 established in 1993 go beyond marine life— Tonga Island in the marine reserve makes for that quintessential Abel Tasman pic! 📸
Gearing up for the adventure ahead! 🌟🚣‍♀️
A sea breeze makes for a fun end to the day, kayak sailing ⛵ is a real highlight for customers kayaking back towards Marahau. 

Watching the sun come up ☀️
Last day to vote for the bird of the century! This year, #birdoftheyear has become 
#birdofthecentury. We're rooting for the Kaka! 🐦 With 35 released into the Abel Tasman, they add their distinctive call and color to Bark Bay and its surrounds.

Memories about to be created in the Abel Tasman. 📸
The Abel Tasman National Park is the smallest national park in New Zealand, it's the perfect location for half-day or five-day explorations!
There are plenty of moments to soak it all in.