From Marahau to Totaranui and return – it’s an adventure!

Spend three days in the stunning Abel Tasman. The first two days see you kayaking from Marahau through to Onetahuti.

We collect your kayak for you on day two and leave you to walk North through to the last water taxi pick up point, Totaranui. The bush through here is lush and the coastal views amazing! We collect you at the end of day three when the water taxi retraces your route back to Marahau.

Recommended campsites: Night 1 Observation Beach or Te Pukatea Bay or Anchorage. Night 2 Onetahuti. Camp passes included in price which we book on your behalf.

  • Start paddling at Marahau and finish at Onetahuti.
  • Don’t paddle the same coastline twice!
  • 2 days of kayaking allows plenty of time to explore all the way up the Marine Reserve.
  • Walk to the Northern taxi pick up point Totaranui.
  • Retrace your steps on the water taxi on your journey back to Marahau.

Hut accommodation is available for an additional cost, please contact us to arrange and camping gear can be hired at time of booking if required.

Minimum group size 2 (no solo hires).

Price

$288 NZ pp

Duration

3 Days

  • Check-in: 8.15 am
  • Open: 1 Oct – 31 May
  • Age: Minimum 14 years, under the age of 18 you need to be accompanied by an adult on a 1 to 1 ratio
  • Includes: Kayak hire, kayak transfer, passenger transfer and camp pass (Abel Tasman Kayaks books on your behalf)
  • Food: Self catered
  • Paddling: Approximately 4 – 5 hours per day interspersed with breaks. No prior experience required
  • Abel Tasman Great Walk: Approximately 3 – 4 hours
  • Water Taxi: One water taxi cruise
  • Bus: $70 Nelson return, $30 Motueka return operating 1 Oct – 30 Apr. On request outside of these times
  • Base Map

Adele Island Bird Sanctuary

Adele Island / Motuareronui is a predator free sanctuary and home to species such as the South Island Robin/Toutouwai (pictured) and Saddleback/Tieke.

NZ Fur Seal/Kekeno

NZ fur seals Kekeno can be seen at the northern end of the island.

Seal - Abel Tasman Kayaks

Onetahuti & Surrounds

Explore the Tonga Island Marine Reserve and its surrounds you can go as far as Shag Harbour.

Astrolabe

Paddle the sheltered waters of the Astrolabe exploring 12 beautiful beaches, caves and rocky outcrops.

 

Kaka

Kaka New Zealands native parrot have been reintroduced to Bark Bay.  They are often heard before they are seen, listen out for their call a harsh, repeated, rhythmic ‘ka ka’.

Lagoons

Explore Frenchmans Bay, Sandfly Bay, Bark Bay (marker) lagoons on the high tide.

Bark Bay & Surrounds

Explore the forest fringed granite coastline and tidal estuaries.

No rental kayaking past this point (shag harbour)

Awaroa Estuary Crossing

Spectacular low tide estuary crossing.

Majestic rain forest

The northern end of the park offers great examples of sub tropical rain forest. There are plenty of majestic  Nikau to be found on this section of track.

Onetahuti kayak pick up 

Totaranui passenger pick up

Night 1

Anchorage Campsite (50 sites).

Night 2

Onetahuti Bay Campsite (20 sites)

Departure Times

Your trip includes an Environmental Access Fee which goes directly towards preserving the Abel Tasman National Park.

Note the Department of Conservation applies a pricing system that varies depending on residency status.

Risk Disclosure: For an understanding of the potential risks please click here and read before you book.

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    8.15am
    Check in and start your kayak rental briefing. The briefing highlights areas of interest in the Abel Tasman National Park, weather forecasts and local conditions, hazards, safety and self rescue.
    10.00am
    On water assessment with guide.
    10.30am
    Continue on your own to explore the Abel Tasman. Spend the night at Observation Beach, Te Pukatea Bay or Anchorage.
  • Day 2

    3.15pm
    Kayak pick up at Onetahuti. Spend the night at Onetahuti or Tonga Quarry.
  • Day 3

    8.15am
    Walk from Onetahuti to Totaranui approx 4.5hrs,14.2km.
    2.15pm
    Water Taxi pick up at Totaranui.
    4.30pm
    Return to Abel Tasman Kayaks’ base.

*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.

Preparation

Camp pass: Provided at check in.

Kayaking clothes: You’re bound to get wet when kayaking bring some quick drying clothes to paddle in. Shorts, t-shirt (long sleeves are preferable), warm top (wool/fleece), hat, sunglasses and shoes. Don’t forget your swimsuit and a towel!

Campsite clothing: Warm campsite clothing is essential for the evenings. Long pants, t-shirt, long-sleeved shirt, warm top (wool/fleece), trainers and socks, sleeping clothing, rainproof jacket.

Personal items: Such as medication, toiletries, camera (with plenty of film or memory space!), personal drinking bottle, first aid kit, torch, sunscreen and insect repellent.

We provide: Buoyancy vest, spray skirt, paddle jacket, paddle, safety emergency flares, waterproof map, water pump and a spare paddle.

Additional items in the winter: wetsuits, wetsuit booties.

Food & water: 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.

Day 1: Lunch, Dinner, Snacks
Day 2: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snacks
Day 3: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snacks

Cooking equipment: If you plan to cook a hot meal ensure you bring a cooker and fuel as fires are only permitted in certain parts of the park, at certain times of the year. Pots, pans, utensils, cutlery, plates and cups will also come in handy.

Camping equipment: During the evening it can become quite cool in the park so please make sure you pack a tent, camping mat and a warm sleeping bag.

FAQS

  • Can we hire/rent single kayaks?

    No. Due to the safety procedures in place, you cannot hire or rent single kayaks. The exception is if your group size is an odd number where there will be one single kayak provided along with double kayaks. E.g For a group of 3 – 1 x double kayak, and 1 x single kayak, group of 5 – 2 x double kayaks and 1 x single kayak.

  • Environment Access Fee

    Your trip includes an Environmental Access Fee which goes directly towards preserving the Abel Tasman National Park.

    A portion of your ticket price goes directly towards preserving the unique environment you will enjoy on your trip in the Abel Tasman. This includes the compulsory concession fees paid to the Department of Conversation as well as voluntary contributions to local organisations and projects to improve the environment, ecology and access to the National Park.  Fees are adjusted according to your trip, you can see your contribution when you purchase a ticket.

    Find out more on how we are looking after this special place including our commitment to the Mārahau Pledge.

  • 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.

  • 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.  

     

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • More FAQ’s

    A full list of our FAQ’s can be found here.

What our customers say

We booked the Park Start which is a 3 day and 2 night trip which starts by taking a water taxi up to the Northern part of the National park where you’re dropped off enabling you to kayak back to Marahau with the wind behind you! The kayaks are spacious with lots of room for tent, other camping equipment and clothes for the trip, and the compartments in the boat... read more


stefsabb

We did the 3 day classic guided kayak trip. From the first contact with the company through to when we said our last goodbyes, Abel Tasman Kayaks were fantastic. Our guide, Awatea was amazing, whipping up fabulous meals at each lunch and overnight stop. He was an experienced guide, coaching us through a couple of more exciting sections on the route and we always felt safe and... read more


stressederic64

We had a brilliant time on our Abel Tasman Kayaks trip. We had Darryl looking after our group (my partner and me, a family and a single). He was very competent, entertaining and also really knowledgeable about the birdlife, bush, sealife and history of the area. He also adapted the day based on the conditions to ensure we had the best possible time. The kayaks were in good nick... read more


laura_25252

We did the two day guided kayaking trip, including an overnight stay on Mosquito Bay. Craig was our tour guide. Everything was included in the trip - kayak, safety gear, all meals, tent and sleeping bags etc.

We were collected from our accommodation and transported over to the Abel Tasman Kayak base in Marahau. It's a really cool and hippy base. All very professional, but still seriously hip and cool :...
read more


DaisyTurnip

As someone who has never kayaked before I felt super safe and felt like I was sailing off with heaps of knowledge after the safety briefing. Our guide was awesome and down to earth, it was easy to ask him questions. We even ran a little bit late and we were stressed we would miss a bit of the info but they were really understanding and gave us plenty of... read more


Paradise52100984255

We loved this trip and I cant recommend it enough. We did a 3 day kayaking adventure. Our guide, Whitey was just brilliant. Super experienced and really good with my 12 year old. He was incredibly knowledable and also a great cook. The food and provided alcohol were just exceptional. I felt safe taking my two daughters , aged 12 and 14. The scenery was just stunning and we were... read more


Alison J

#ABELTASMANKAYAKS

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 
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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.
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