Photo of Onetahuit Beach in the Abel Tasman National Park

Onetahuti Beach in Abel Tasman National Park

Abel Tasman National Park is one of New Zealand’s most popular national parks. At 22,530 hectares it’s also New Zealand’s smallest national park.

Abel Tasman National Park is located at the top of the South Island. It’s very easy to get to – it’s about a one hour drive from Nelson city.

About The Abel Tasman Coast Track

Photo of Medlands Beach in the Abel Tasman National Park, New Zealand

Medlands Beach along the Abel Tasman Coast Track

One of the main attractions in this area is the Abel Tasman Coast Track. The Abel Tasman Coast Track is a 3 – 5 day walk extending for 54.4 km around the coast of Abel Tasman National Park. The Abel Tasman Coast Track is one of New Zealand’s “Great Walks”

The track can be walked in either direction. You can start walking from Marahau and finish at Totaranui or even further up the coast. Or you can drive or get a boat to Totaranui and walk back to Marahau. Another option is to walk part of the track and get a water taxi back, or get a water taxi to some part of the track and walk back to the start. The possibilities are endless!

Some people visit Abel Tasman National Park just for the camping. There are camping grounds all along the Coast Track and most of them are right next to a golden sand beach. Of course everything needs to be booked in advance – especially in the summer months.

Our Walk

This was the first time in my life doing a bush walk. We did 2 days of the Abel Tasman Coast Track. But it’s not really a bush walk and the track goes alongside the beautiful ocean.The temperature was fantastic for walk. Our first day was sunny but it rained on our second day. I felt great to do this track.

Photo of Onetahuti Beach in the Abel Tasman National Park, New Zealand

Onetahuti Beach is where the water taxi dropped us off for our two day walk

We started our walk from Onetahuti Beach, near Tonga Island, and walked back to Marahau. We got an early morning water taxi from Marahau (where we parked the car). The track looked good and people kept walking past us while we took photos along the way. Some were walk in the other direction, I did not feel lonely while walking the Able Tasman track.

We stopped for our picnic lunch at Bark Bay straight after we crossed the inlet at low tide.

Photo of the tidal crossing at Bark Bay on the Abel Tasman Track

The tidal crossing at Bark Bay on the Abel Tasman Track

I lost count of how many mountains we walked over and around. Manuka trees (also called “Tea tree”) were all around all the place along the walking track. And I loved that smell of the Manuka leaf when I crush it. And it has a beautiful white flower.

The pressure of this this trip was to get to the point that we wanted to stay for the night – the Anchorage camp site. And the main challenge was to cross the huge area at Torrent Bay when the tide was low. If we missed the low tide, we would’ve had to do a detour around the estuary. Otherwise we would have no where to stay.

Luckily we made it to the Anchorage camping ground on time and set the tent up. All up, it took about 4 hours to get there from Onetahuti Beach. But of course, we stopped for lunch and swims along the way.

We wanted to have dinner on the beach. But because the wind was blowing into Anchorage bay, we decided to walk the ten minutes or so to Te Pukatea Bay which faces the other direction, so should be more sheltered. Then we made a nice dinner on the beach to celebrate my birthday.

We got up very early in the morning while the rest of the camp was still sleeping. We woke to the amazingly beautiful chorus of birds singing. It was so relaxing and was like beautiful music coming from everywhere. We’ve only heard this sound in New Zealand.

The temperature was quite cold and it started to rain, so we started our walk back to Marahau. By the time we got back, we were completely drenched. But we really enjoyed the hot pumpkin soup from the Cafe!