How to Get There

The Abel Tasman Coastal Walk can be started or finished from multiple points along the track. This article will be useful for those wanting to walk part of the track finishing in Marahau.

The hike featured in this article starts at Bark Bay Campsite Bark Bay Abel Tasman walking back to the car park in Marahau. This can be done easily in 3 days with young children.

Further information on walking the full track in the Abel Tasman National Park is available from DOC. To get to these starting points a water taxi will need to be booked in advance.

In addition these operators also offer free parking in Marahau for the duration of the hike.

Water Taxis Drop-off Points Abel Tasman Coastal Track

There are two major water taxi operators which can be used on the Abel Tasman Great Walk, Abel Tasman AquaTaxi and Marahau Water Taxis

These operators can drop-off or pick you up from Totaranui, Awaroa, Onetahuti, Bark Bay Campsite Abel Tasman, Torrent Bay Campsite, and Anchorage Hut. All of these points have campsites which must be booked in advance, in addition to this some have huts also.

 

Marahau Water Taxis on the Way to Bark Bay Campsite
Marahau Water Taxis

Huts and Abel Tasman DOC Campsites

Along the section of the track walked in this article there are huts and campsites available. These Abel Tasman Great Walk Huts and Abel Tasman DOC campsites must be booked in advance through DOC. 

The Huts available on are the Bark Bay Hut and Anchorage Hut, information on these huts is available at the bottom of the page. 

Abel Tasman DOC campsites available on this section of the track are Bark Bay Campsite, Apple Tree Bay Campsite and Torrent Bay Village Campsite.

Bark Bay Campsite Abel Tasman National Park Campsite

The hike starts from Bark Bay campsite in Bark Bay Abel Tasman. This Abel Tasman National Park campsite features 40 non power sites with flushing toilets, multiple park benches and a cooking shelter. Campfires are allowed unless bans are in place, check for bans  under alerts with DOC. 

 

Bark Bay Campsite Abel Tasman National Park Campsite
Park benches and flushing toilets at Bark Bay Campsite Abel Tasman National Park Campsite
Bark Bay Campsite Abel Tasman National Park Campsite
Bark Bay Campsite Abel Tasman National Park Campsite
Sandy Bark Bay Abel Tasman Coastal Track
Sandy Bark Bay Abel Tasman Coastal Track

This Abel Tasman National Park campsite is a great place to start the hike. However this is a busy place with most day walkers starting here. Therefore if you are after a quiet camping spot then this isn’t the best place for you. However the park benches and flushing toilets make Bark Bay Abel Tasman an ideal place for having lunch.

Looking back at Bark Bay Abel Tasman National Park Campsite
Looking back at Bark Bay Abel Tasman National Park Campsite.

Day 1 - Bark Bay Campsite to Torrent Bay Village Campsite Track 7 km

From Bark Bay Campsite set out towards Torrent Bay Village Campsite with the the ocean views on the left hand side. Most of the first day is spent walking through lush coastal forest. Look through the tress to see views of the golden sandy bays.

Track on day one to first campsite
Lush Coastal Forest
Coastal Views seen Through trees along the Abel Tasman Coastal Track
Coastal Views seen Through trees along the Abel Tasman Coastal Track

47 Metre Long Suspension Bridge

At about halfway point on day one of the Abel Tasman Great Walk a 47 metre long suspension bridge needs to be crossed. On either side you will see people enjoying the crystal clear water.

47 metre long suspension bridge on Abel Tasman Great Walk
47 metre long suspension bridge
seen through the trees abel tasman coastal track
Kayakers enjoying crystal waters on the Abel Tasman Coastal Track
boats on left hand side of suspension bridge
View to the left of suspension bridge

After the suspension bridge the track continues through the forest. When you get to this short bridge then you are almost at the Torrent Bay Village campsite.

bridge marking getting close to the end of day 1
Many Flowers on the Way
Flowers along the way

Once you start walking in full sun again then day one of hiking is almost done.  At the end of this track there is a small look out for capturing views of Torrent Bay and Torrent Bay Village. It is worth noting there are no shops or restaurants here. From here it’s just a short walk down to Torrent Bay Village campsite which is set in the bush on the Abel Tasman Great Walk.

Almost at the campsite
Views of Torrent Bay
Views of Torrent Bay
Torrent Bay Village - Abel Tasman National Park Campsite
Torrent Bay Village - Abel Tasman National Park Campsite.

Torrent Bay Village Campsite Abel Tasman DOC Campsites

Day one ends at Abel Tasman Great Walk’s Torrent Bay Village Campsite which is one of Abel Tasman DOC campsites with 10 basic sites. There is running water which must be boiled before use and a shared long drop toilet. There are also a couple of park benches you can pitch your tent next to. Therefore get to this Abel Tasman National Park campsite early to secure your spot. This is because competition for these spots will be high.

Vuno ultralight tent at Torrent Bay Village Campsite - Abel Tasman National Park Campsite
Vuno ultralight tent at Torrent Bay Village Campsite - Abel Tasman National Park Campsite
Bay Village Campsite - Abel Tasman DOC Campsites
Views from Torrent Bay Village Campsite - Abel Tasman DOC Campsites
Torrent Bay Village Campsite Abel Tasman National Park Campsite
Torrent Bay Village Campsite Abel Tasman National Park Campsite

Day 2 - Torrent Bay Village Campsite to Apple Tree Bay Campsite 11.5 km

On day two head out towards Apple Tree Bay Campsite Abel Tasman Coastal Track from Torrent Bay Village Campsite. Before you start this hike ensure you check the tide times because knowing this will save you time. If you leave 2 hours before or after low tide you can walk across the estuary. This will save you 1 hour or 3 km of walking. However be certain to stick to this 2 hour rule as your eyes may fool you.

Cleopatras Pool Abel Tasman Great Walk

Cleopatras Pool Abel Tasman Great Walk is a 20 minute side trip on day two. You are sure to be impressed with this natural rock pool with it’s small moss lined waterfall. The sidetrack can be taken regardless of whether the low tide or high tide track is used. However take care when crossing the rocks as they can become slippery.

Cleopatras Pool Abel Tasman Coastal Track
Cleopatras Pool Abel Tasman Coastal Track
Cleopatras Pool on the Abel Tasman Great Walk
Cleopatras Pool Abel Tasman Great Walk

From Cleopatras Pool Abel Tasman the track runs through thick forest until you arrive at Akersten Bay Abel Tasman National Park Campsite.

Once you hit Arkersten Bay the track runs close to the coast welcoming back the beautiful coastal views of Arkersten Bay Abel Tasman Great Walk.

Akerston Bay Amazing Coastal Views on Abel Tasman Great Walk
Amazing Coastal Views of Akerston Bay

Along the track as you get closer to the final of the Abel Tasman DOC campsites at Apple Tree Bay you pass some small yet amazing looking waterfalls. You will see rocks covered with green moss giving them that prehistoric look. After passing these water falls the track will descend down to the next of Abel Tasman DOC campsites on the Abel Tasman Coastal Track.

mossy waterfall at the end of day 2
Mossy Waterfalls
one of many small waterfalls along the track

Apple Tree Bay Campsite - Abel Tasman National Park Campsite

Apple Tree Bay Campsite on the Abel Tasman Coastal Track is another one of Abel Tasman DOC campsites consisting of 15 non-powered tent sites. Tent sites on this Abel Tasman National PArk Campsite are located on the sandy beach. Because of this ensure you bury your tent pegs deep or use branches instead. There are long drop toilets and a tap for water at Apple Tree Bay Campsite. However the water must be boiled first before drinking, therefore ensure you bring something to boil water in.

Apple Tree Bay Campsite Abel Tasman Coastal Track
Apple Tree Bay Campsite Abel Tasman Coastal Track

A picnic table is available and many logs lying around to use as seats at this Abel Tasman National Park campsite. There is no cooking shelter and limited shade therefore ensure you get there early for a good spot.

While camping at Apple Tree Bay campsite, enjoy the relaxing coastal views of the Abel Tasman Great Walk from your campsite. This is one of most relaxing of the Abel Tasman DOC campsites.

weka looking for food
Camping at Apple Tree Bay Campsite Abel Tasman DOC Campsites
Camping at Apple Tree Bay Campsite - Abel Tasman DOC Campsites
Apple Tree Bay campsite - Abel Tasman National Park Campsite
Apple Tree Bay campsite - Abel Tasman National Park Campsite.

Day 3 - Apple Tree Bay Campsite to Marahau Abel Tasman Coastal Track 5.5 km

From Apple Tree Bay Campsite it is a relatively short walk back to Marahau on the Abel Tasman Coastal Track. On the way out you will pass crystal clear streams which make for good morning tea or lunch stops.

Great place to stop for lunch

The track on the last day starts of in the bush. At some stage you will come across a shot glass chair which has two shot glasses sealed inside. 

Shot glass chair Abel Tasman Great Walk
Shot glass chair
shot glasses sealed into chair
Track on last day

Following a short break at the shot glass bench views start to open up, this almost near the end of your 3 day overnight hiking adventure. 

Flowers near the end of the track
Flowers near the end of the track
Near the end of your adventure
Views begin to open up
Views begin to open up
Tinline Bay Abel Tasman Great Walk
Tinline Bay Abel Tasman
Tinline Bay Marahau
Tinline Bay Marahau

After the views open up you will cross a bridge one last time with views of the wetlands on either side.

From here it is just a short walk back to the Abel Tasman Coastal Track car park.

From this car park it is another 1 – 2 km back to the water taxi car parks depending on which service used. If you want to have a break first there is a cafe near the car park which serves awesome smoothies and wood fire pizza.

Bridge marking the end of the Abel Tasman Track NZ
Bridge marking the end of the Abel Tasman Track NZ
wetlands

The Weka of Abel Tasman Coastal Track

One of the highlights of the Abel Tasman Great Walk are the many weka (woodhen) which live there. These flightless birds can be spotted along the track and throughout the Abel Tasman Coastal Track.  Be sure to pack your food away as they are known to make a run for it.

Weka along the track front view
One of many Weka Spotted Along the Track
Weka along the track side view
Weka Abel Tasman National Park

Huts Along the Abel Tasman Coastal Track

If you don’t want to stay in campsites then there are 4 huts along the Abel Tasman Coastal Track. On the section of the track in this article there are 2 DOC huts, Bark Bay Hut and the Anchorage Hut . However staying in the huts will increase time spent on the track each day. The two huts on this section of the track are the Bark Bay Hut and the Anchorage Hut.

Bark Bay Hut - Abel Tasman Coastal Track

The Bark Bay Hut is located at the start of the track as described in this article. It has a basic 34 bunk hut without lighting and gas cooking facilities. 

Bookings for the Bark Bay Hut must be made in advance through the New Zealand Department of Conservation. Remember to pack your gas stove and lighting when staying in this hut.

Bark Bay Hut Abel Tasman Track
Bark Bay Hut
Bark Bay Hut Abel Tasman Coastal Track
Bark Bay Hut Outside

Anchorage Hut - Abel Tasman Track

The Anchorage Hut is located 11.5 km from the Bark Bay Hut and 12.5 km to the end of the track described in this article. The facilities in the Anchorage hut are also limited. 

Bookings must be made in advance through DOC New Zealand before embarking on the Abel Tasman Coastal Track. Remember to pack your gas stove and lighting when staying in this hut.

Anchorage Hut Abel Tasman Track
The Anchorage Hut
Anchorage Hut Abel Tasman Coastal Track
Bunk Rooms Anchorage Hut