Abel Tasman Great Walk

How to Get There

The Abel Tasman Great 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. 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 Great Walk

There are two major water taxi operators which can be used, Abel Tasman AquaTaxi and Marahau Water Taxis. These operators can drop-off or pick you up from Totaranui, Awaroa, Onetahuti, Bark Bay, Torrent Bay, and Anchorage. All of these points have campsites which must be booked in advance, in addition to this some have huts also.

The hike featured in this article starts at Bark Bay Campsite walking back to the car park in Marahau.

Marahau Water Taxis Abel Tasman Great Walk Track
Marahau Water Taxis

Bark Bay Campsite Abel Tasman Great Walk

The hike starts from Bark Bay campsite. The 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.

This is a great place to start the hike however a busy place as most day walkers start here. Therefore if you are after a quiet camping spot then this may not be the best place for you. However the park benches and flushing toilets make this an ideal place for having lunch.

Sweeping coastal views
Looking back at Bark Bay from track
Park benches and flushing toilets
Park benches & flushing toilets
Hike starts at Bark Bay Campsite Abel Tasman Track
Bark Bay Campsite
Sandy Bark Bay Abel Tasman Great Walk
Sandy Bark Bay

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

From Bark Bay set out towards Torrent Bay Village keeping the ocean views on the left hand side. Most of the first day is spent walking through lush coastal forest. Following and after this views of the golden sandy bays can be seen through the trees.

lovely coastal view near the end of day one
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

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 can see people enjoying the crystal clear water.

boats on left hand side of suspension bridge
seen through the trees abel tasman coastal track
47 metre long suspension bridge on Abel Tasman Great Walk
47 metre long suspension bridge

After the suspension bridge the track continues through the forest. When you get to this short bridge then you are almost there.

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

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 at that 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.

Almost at the campsite
Views of Torrent Bay
Views of Torrent Bay
Torrent Bay Village Abel Tasman Great Walk
Torrent Bay Village

Torrent Bay Village Campsite Abel Tasman Track

Day one ends at Torrent Bay Village Campsite which is a basic 10 site campsite. There is running water which must be boiled before use and a shared long drop toilet. There are a couple of park benches you can pitch your tent next too therefore get there early to secure your spot.

Watch out for the Weka
Hungry Weka
Views from Torrent Bay Village Campsite
Views from Torrent Bay Village Campsite
Torrent Bay Village Campsite Views
Torrent Bay Village Campsite Views
Vuno ultralight tent at Torrent Bay Village Campsite
Vuno ultralight tent Torrent Bay Campsite

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

On day two head out to Apple Tree Bay Campsite Abel Tasman Coastal Track. Before you start this hike ensure you check the tide times, as knowing this could save you some time. If you leave 2 hours before or after low tide you can walk across the estuary saving 1 hour or 3 km of walking. Be certain to stick to this 2 hour rule as your eyes may fool you.

Cleopatras Pool 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.

stream running out from Cleopatras pool
Cleopatras Pool on the Abel Tasman Great Walk
Cleopatras Pool Abel Tasman Great Walk

From Cleopatras Pool the track runs through thick forest until you arrive in Akersten Bay.

track in shade on day two
photo of walkway second day in full sun
track on day 2 of the hike

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.

Amazing Abel Tasman Coastal Views
Akerston Bay Amazing Coastal Views
Amazing Coastal Views of Akerston Bay

Along the track as you get closer to the final campsite at Apple Tree Bay you pass some small yet amazing looking waterfalls. Rocks covered in green moss giving them that prehistoric look. After passing these water falls the track begins to descend down to the next campsite on Abel Tasman Coastal Track.

small waterfall running into a small stream
Small waterfalls along the 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 Great Walk

Apple Tree Bay Campsite is another simple DOC campsite consisting of 15 non-powered tent sites. Tent sites are located on the sandy beach so ensure you bury your tent pegs deep or use branches instead. There are long drop toilets and a tap for water. However the water must be boiled first before drinking therefore ensure you bring something to boil water in.

A picnic table is available and there are many logs lying around to use as seats. There is no cooking shelter and limited shade therefore ensure you get there early for a good spot.

While camping at Apple Tree Bay, enjoy the relaxing coastal views of the Abel Tasman Great Walk from your campsite.

weka looking for food
Apple Tree Bay Campsite Abel Tasman Track
Apple Tree Bay Campsite Abel Tasman Track
coastal views from apple tree bay campsite
relaxing view from apple tree bay campsite abel tasman coast track
Relaxing view from apple tree bay campsite
camping at apple tree bay Abel Tasman Great Walk
Camping at Apple Tree Bay

Aay 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
beautiful crystal clear streams
Beautiful crystal clear streams

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
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
View start to open up
Near the end of your adventure
Views begin to open up
Views begin to open up
Tinline Bay Abel Tasman
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 Great Walk 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 Able 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. 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 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.

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