Abel Tasman Coast Track
The Abel Tasman Coast Track is a 51km (32 mile) long New Zealand walking track within the Abel Tasman National Park. It extends from Marahau in the south to Wainui in the north, with many optional side tracks. It is one of two main tracks through Abel Tasman National Park, the other being the Abel Tasman Inland Track, which stretches for 38km between Tinline Bay and Torrent Bay off the main coastal track. The coastal track is well sheltered, and with mild weather in all seasons, it is accessible and open throughout the year.
As one of the New Zealand Department of Conservation (DOC) Great Walks, the coastal track is well formed and easy to follow. The track is the most popular tramping track in New Zealand, and caters for approximately 200,000 visitors every year. It can be walked independently or with commercial operators with guiding, camping, lodge stay and boat stay options. Following a protected coastline, many people combine walking and sea kayaking in Abel Tasman National Park.
To walk the entire 51km length of the coastal track takes from 3 to 5 days. Single day walks are popular as many points are accessible by boat from beaches along the track. Commercial water taxi and boat operators provide pick-up and drop-off services. One of the most popular sections for walkers with limited time is from Bark Bay to Torrent Bay (or vice-versa), a distance of 7.8 kilometres, which incorporates some steep paths, beautiful views over the bay and a crossing of the Falls River by a 47m swing bridge.
To stay overnight in the National Park, visitors must use officially recognised accommodations. Independent travellers use DOC campsites and huts that must be reserved in advanced during the most popular months. Commercial properties occupy private land within the boundaries of the National Park and provide lodge-style accommodation. Backpacker accommodation is provided by boats moored off the National Park coast.
With one of the largest tidal ranges in New Zealand, the coast track includes some tidal crossings that can only be negotiated at low tide. Independent walkers and sea kayakers need to have information on tides in the area to plan their trips.