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.
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.
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.
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.
After the suspension bridge the track continues through the forest. When you get to this short bridge then you are almost there.
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.
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.
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.
From Cleopatras Pool the track runs through thick forest until you arrive in Akersten Bay.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.