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Wilsons Abel Tasman Guided Sea Kayaking Tours
  • Overview
  • 2 day
  • 3 day
  • 5 day
  • Lodges
  • Map
  • Prices

Overview

Combine the best of everything in Abel Tasman National Park. It's your choice: walk, cruise, kayak, relax.

Overnight sea kayaking and walking for the best combination of relaxation and adventure staying at beachfront lodges in Abel Tasman National Park. Paddle unnoticed amongst playful seals, penguins and hidden coves. Explore sheltered southern beaches and islands. Walk the stunning northern beaches through lush rainforest. Cruise the coast in style and comfort on our Vista Cruise.

Be welcomed home in the evening with a hot shower in your own room at our Beachfront Lodges while your hosts prepare a meal of local specialities.

Our expert guides are trained to design each day to suit your needs and interests, taking into account local tidal conditions and weather. Full boat back-up means you can leave your kayak on a beach and walk or cruise to the Lodge.

View all the options below. If kayaking is not for you, join one of our Walking Breaks to meet up at our Lodges with the sea kayakers at the end of each day

2 Day Itinerary

We strongly recommend that you join us for a minimum of 2 nights to maximise your enjoyment of this stunning coast. However, if you are short of time, we can design the best overnight experience to suit you, including everything the Park has to offer. No need to travel out of the Park to enjoy accommodation with all modern comforts, right on the beach in the National Park.

You can choose to laze on a golden beach, walk, sea kayak or take a boat cruise. The choice is yours. And you won’t have to lug around heavy packs or worry about where to eat or what time to catch the best tide. We take care of all those details, leaving you more time to relax and enjoy.

Join 2 days of our 3-Day Kayak & Walk break and stay overnight at Meadowbank Homestead - Awaroa, including walking and kayaking with the seals in Tonga Island Marine Reserve.

Our kayaking breaks are suitable for all levels. No previous sea kayaking experience is required as you will be accompanied by our guides at all times on the water. Your guide provides full training and safety brief. You can relax in the knowledge that you are in safe hands; you won’t leave the beach until your guide is completely satisfied that you can safely and comfortably negotiate the coast in your kayak.

Departure Timetable:

Subject to availability, we can arrange a 2 Day Itinerary departing on any day to suit you.

Overnight Kayak and Walk Itinerary

This is only a suggested itinerary, staying overnight at Meadowbank Homestead – Awaroa in the remote northern regions of the Park. Please contact us to discuss other options.

On the morning your adventure begins, we pick you up from your accommodation in Nelson or Motueka, or you can leave your car at our office along with any excess luggage. We provide you with a complimentary overnight bag to be transported to our lodges by boat. Day packs are available to borrow if required.

Day 1: Nelson / Motueka to Awaroa via Totaranui
All aboard our Vista Cruise vessel! As we cruise from Kaiteriteri at the southern tip of the Park to Totaranui in the North we echo the contours of the beautiful Abel Tasman coastline. Relax on the upper or lower viewing decks to delight in sweeping golden bays and hidden inlets, framed by lush, evergreen native forest. Walk from Totaranui to the breathtaking Awaroa inlet, where a warm kiwi welcome awaits you at Meadowbank Homestead, a faithful re-creation of the Wilson family's original home on the "finest site in the bay".

  • 9.00 am check in at our Kaiteriteri ticket office to board the 9.30 am Vista Cruise to travel the length of the spectacular Abel Tasman coast to Totaranui. Relax at the cafe/bar on board and enjoy an introduction to this fascinating region with full interpretative commentary from our skilled boat crew.
  • When you arrive at Totaranui, you can relax on the beach or take a walk through the ancient rainforest of Te Pukatea Loop.
  • From Totaranui, walk through mature beech and rata forests, and along secluded golden beaches to the tidal inlet at Awaroa.
  • Either walk, if the tide is out, or take a boat ride across the stunning expanses of the largest inlet on the coast.
  • At Meadowbank Homestead - Awaroa, right on the edge of the inlet, you’ll be welcomed with pre-dinner drinks and fine food. Here you’ll find comfortable accommodation full of history and kiwi charm.

Approximate Times:
Bus to Kaiteriteri - from Nelson 1 hour 30 mins, from Motueka 20 mins
Cruise Kaiteriteri to Totaranui - 1 Hour, 20 Mins.
Walk, including options - 3 hours (10 kms)

Meals Included: Morning and Afternoon Tea, Lunch, Dinner

Day 2: Awaroa to Torrent Bay and return to Nelson
Wake and enjoy your choice of home-cooked breakfast overlooking Meadowbank Homestead gardens but the sea. Walk the coastal track shaded by dense native forest to a sheltered beach and join a guided Sea Kayak trip to explore Tonga Island Marine Reserve. Your guide settles you into our stable double kayaks with full training and safety brief so don’t worry! You won’t leave the beach until your guide is satisfied you can enjoy a safe paddling experience.

  • Around 9.00 am depart Meadowbank Homestead for your walk to the golden expanse of Onetahuti beach.
  • From Onetahuti in the heart of Tonga Island Marine Reserve, paddle to view the antics of its resident Fur Seal colony (weather permitting).
  • Paddle past Tonga Quarry and the Tonga Arches, where your guide will entertain you with amusing stories on the history and natural features of this fascinating area.
  • We’ll stop for lunch at sheltered Bark Bay, where you can take time out to explore, swim or relax on the golden sand.
  • After lunch, we’ll hop back into our kayaks and continue our wonderful beach hopping journey along the coast. Along the way there are plenty more points of interest to punctuate the picture-postcard views, including the Falls River and Frenchman’s Bay.
  • At Torrent Bay, there’s time for a rest before you board our Vista Cruise vessel once again at 4.45 pm to return to Kaiteriteri where you connecting coach awaits to return you to Nelson by 5.30 pm.

Approximate times:
Walk Awaora to Onetahuti 1.5 hours (5 kms)
Sea Kayak Onetahuti to Torrent Bay 4 hours (10 kms)
Cruise Torrent Bay to Kaiteriteri 1 hour
Bus from Kaiteriteri - to Nelson 1 hour 30 mins, to Motueka 20 mins

Meals Included: Breakfast, morning tea and lunch

Important Trip Information:

If start/finish times do not suit your schedule, please contact us to arrange alternative options.

The direction of the 2 Day Kayaking Trip may be reversed on some departures and can include 2 days of paddling with accommodation at our Torrent Bay Lodge.

3 Day Itinerary

This three day holiday is the best combination to experience everything in Abel Tasman National Park, with the comfort of Lodge accommodation on the beachfront within the Park.

Two days sea kayaking the sheltered southern reaches of the Park and one day walking the lush northern rainforest and isolated beaches of Abel Tasman Coast Track, including a scenic cruise along the length of the Abel Tasman coast aboard our Vista Cruise.

This trip is suitable for all levels. No previous sea kayaking experience is required as you will be accompanied by our Guides at all times on the water. Your Guide gives you full training with safety brief so you can relax in the knowledge you are in safe hands. There is boat back-up at all times and you can choose to walk or catch a boat if you find you don't enjoy kayaking.

Departure Timetable:

We operate this trip year round, with departures every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Special itineraries can often be arranged on other days, subject to availability.

Please note: Trip departures May to October require a minimum of 4 people. If you wish to book with less than 4 people during these months, please contact us for a confirmed departure date.

Detailed Itinerary

In just 3 days, this break offers so many different perspectives on the breathtaking Abel Tasman National Park. Stay one night at each of our Beachfront Lodges. Paddle the sheltered southern beaches between Kaiteriteri and Tonga Island Marine Reserve, including the playful seals on Tonga Island. Walk the isolated northern beaches fringed by lush temperate rainforest between Awaroa and Totaranui.

On the morning of your departure we will pick you up from your accommodation or, if you have your own car, we’ll direct you to safe parking from our office in Motueka. Day Packs are available to borrow here if required, and we can safely store any excess luggage. There is a safe in our office for valuables.

Day 1: Nelson / Motueka to Awaroa via Totaranui
All aboard our Vista Cruise vessel! As we cruise from Kaiteriteri at the southern tip of the Park to Totaranui in the North we echo the contours of the beautiful Abel Tasman coastline. Relax on the upper or lower viewing decks to delight in sweeping golden bays and hidden inlets, framed by lush, evergreen native forest. Walk from Totaranui to the breathtaking Awaroa inlet, where a warm kiwi welcome awaits you at Meadowbank Homestead - Awaroa, a faithful re-creation of the Wilson family's original home on the "finest site in the bay".

  • Pick up Nelson (10.30 - 11.00 am) or Motueka (11.40 am) or if you are self driving please meet at our office by 11.45 am
  • Meet your guide at our Motueka office for a welcome briefing with time for last-minute luggage organisation, before departing to Kaiteriteri by coach
  • 1.00 pm: Vista Cruise departs Kaiteriteri for a fast, safe, comfortable cruise along the National Park coastline. Hot & cold drinks, open and enclosed viewing decks and bathroom facilities on board
  • From Totaranui, walk through mature beech and rata forests, and along secluded golden beaches to the sweeping tidal inlet at Awaroa
  • Either walk, if the tide is out, or take a boat ride across the stunning expanses of the largest inlet on the coast
  • Be welcomed with pre-dinner drinks and food by your hosts at Meadowbank Homestead - Awaroa, a faithful re-creation of the Wilson family's original home, perfectly situated to make the most of the impossibly picturesque surroundings, on the finest site in the bay.

Approximate Times:
Bus to Kaiteriteri - from Nelson 1 hour 30 mins, from Motueka 20 mins
Cruise Kaiteriteri to Totaranui - 1 Hour 20 Mins.
Walk 2 hours (6 kms) plus tidal crossing

Meals included: Lunch, Afternoon Tea, Dinner

Day 2: Awaroa to Torrent Bay
Wake to breakfast overlooking the gardens of Meadowbank Homesead, watching the movement of the tides over golden sands. Walk with your Guide to the golden expanse of Onetahuti Beach then paddle to Torrent Bay, through Tonga Island Marine Reserve and exploring hidden inlets along the way.

At around 9.30 am, we’ll depart Awaroa for the scenic walk over the Tonga Saddle to Onetahuti. Here, your guide will settle you into your kayaks with full training and safety brief. Don’t worry, you won’t leave the beach until your guide is satisfied you can safely negotiate the coast in your kayak. (If you are a travelling on your own, your Guide will find a suitable paddling partner for you).

In good weather, there’s the opportunity to visit the Seal Colony on Tonga Island where New Zealand fur seals breed. It’s often possible to spot new-born pups here in December and January

As you enjoy the sensation of paddling through the clear turquoise waters of the Park, we’ll cruise past Tonga Quarry and the Tonga Arches, where your guide will explain the history of this granite area, pointing out some of the unusual natural features and relics from the historic quarry

Around midday, stop for lunch at sheltered Bark Bay, where you can take time out to explore, swim or relax on the golden sand

After lunch, we continue our paddle, beach hopping along the coast with picture-postcard views, including the Falls River and Frenchman’s Bay,

At around 4.30 pm paddle into Torrent Bay to be welcomed with refreshments and a hot shower in your ensuite room at Torrent Bay Lodge.

Approximate times:
Walk Awaora to Onetahuti 1.5 hours (5 kms)
Sea Kayak Onetahuti to Torrent Bay 4 hours (10 kms)

Meals included: Breakfast, Morning and Afternoon Tea, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Torrent Bay to Kaiteriteri
Wake up to morning light on the golden sands of Torrent Bay and perhaps a coffee on the deck before a hearty home-cooked breakfast to set you up for another day of scenic paddling.

  • Around 9.30 am we leave Torrent Bay by kayak and glide southwards along the coast, to discover the pristine bays and beaches named by French Explorer, Dumont D'urville in 1827.
  • Paddle the idyllic waters of Te Pukatea Bay. In the sheltered Astrolabe Roadstead, paddle along the picturesque coast of Adele Island, now a predator-free sanctuary ringing with birdsong.
  • If the wind is with you, your guide will help you hoist a specially designed sail so you can ride the sea breeze.
  • We’ll stop for lunch and a rest at any one of the bays, before we continue our journey through azure waters to the famous Kaiteriteri beach, where our coach will be waiting to meet you for the return journey to Motueka (4.30pm) or Nelson (5.30pm

Approximate times:
Sea Kayak Torrent Bay to Kaiteriteri 4.5 hours (12 kms)
Bus Kaiteriteri to Motueka (20 mins) or Nelson (1.5 hours)

Meals included: Breakfast, Morning and Afternoon Tea, Lunch

Important Additional Information:

If start/finish times do not suit your schedule, please contact us to arrange alternative options.

Keep in mind that kayaking or walking each day is optional. You are welcome to travel on any of our scheduled ferry services. Please discuss this option with your guide prior to each day’s departure. If you find that sea kayaking is not for you, you have the option of joining the walk group that is walking the kayaking sections of this itinerary. This flexibility is perfect for couples or groups that want to visit the park together but don't all want to kayak, some preferring to walk or boat between lodges.

The direction of the 3 Day Guided Kayak & Walking Trip may be reversed on some departures with earlier pick up in Nelson (7.15 - 7.30 am) and Motueka (8.30 am)

5 Day Itinerary

Experience everything on land and sea in Abel Tasman National Park at a pace that allows you to soak up the tranquillity of the wondrous golden coast.

Combine two days sea kayaking the protected southern coastline and one day walking the lush northern Abel Tasman Coast Track, with an extra day at each of our Beachfront Lodges where you can choose to relax or explore parts of the Park missed by many visitors. View the coast from another dimension with a scenic Vista Cruise along the length of the spectacular coast.

Your sea kayak grants you access to hidden coves and sweeping inlets lapped by turquoise waters. You won't miss out on stunning coastal vistas from the forest-fringed walking track.

This trip is suitable for all levels. No previous sea kayaking experience is required as you will be accompanied by our Guides at all times on the water. Your Guide gives you full training with safety brief so you can relax in the knowledge you are in safe hands. There is boat back-up at all times and you can choose to walk or catch a boat if you find you don't enjoy kayaking.

Departure Timetable:

We operate this trip year round with departures every Tuesday and Friday from November through to March. From April to October, 5-day trips depart every Tuesday.

Please note: Trip departures May to October require a minimum of 4 people. If you wish to book with less than 4 people during these months, please contact us for a confirmed departure date.

Detailed Itinerary

Take 5 days to immerse yourself in the total Abel Tasman experience with 2 days kayaking, 1 day walking and 2 extra days to relax or explore beyond the boundaries of a tight schedule. Spend 2 nights at Meadowbank Homestead - Awaroa and 2 nights at Torrent Bay Lodge.

Take it at your own pace... active or relaxed – you choose!

On the morning of your departure we will pick you up from your accommodation or, if you have your own car, we’ll direct you to safe parking from our office in Motueka. Day Packs are available to borrow here if required, and we can safely store any excess luggage. There is a safe in our office for valuables.

Day 1: Nelson / Motueka to Awaroa via Totaranui
All aboard our Vista Cruise vessel! As we cruise from Kaiteriteri at the southern tip of the Park to Totaranui in the North we echo the contours of the beautiful Abel Tasman coastline. Relax on the upper or lower viewing decks to delight in sweeping golden bays and hidden inlets, framed by lush, evergreen native forest. Walk from Totaranui to the breathtaking Awaroa inlet, where a warm kiwi welcome awaits you at Meadowbank Homestead, a faithful re-creation of the Wilson family's original home on the "finest site in the bay".

  • Pick up Nelson (10.30 - 11.00 am) or Motueka (11.40 am) or if you are self driving please meet at our office by 11.45 am
  • Meet your guide at our Motueka office for a welcome briefing with time for last-minute luggage organisation, before departing to Kaiteriteri by coach
  • 1.00 pm: Vista Cruise departs Kaiteriteri for a fast, safe, comfortable cruise along the National Park coastline. Hot & cold drinks, open and enclosed viewing decks and bathroom facilities on board
  • From Totaranui, walk through mature beech and rata forests, and along secluded golden beaches to the sweeping tidal inlet at Awaroa
  • Either walk, if the tide is out, or take a boat ride across the stunning expanses of the largest inlet on the coast
  • Be welcomed with pre-dinner drinks and food by your hosts at Meadowbank Homestead - Awaroa, a faithful re-creation of the Wilson family's original home, perfectly situated to make the most of the impossibly picturesque surroundings, on the finest site in the bay.

Approximate Times:
Bus to Kaiteriteri - from Nelson 1 hour 30 mins, from Motueka 20 mins
Cruise Kaiteriteri to Totaranui - 1 Hour 20 Mins.
Walk 2 hours (6 kms) plus tidal crossing

Meals included: Lunch, Afternoon Tea, Dinner

Day 2: Explore Awaroa
Wake up to a home-cooked breakfast and sweeping views across Awaroa inlet, the largest tidal estuary in Abel Tasman National Park. Enjoy the cosy and comfortable surroundings of the lodge and perhaps a coffee on the verandah watching the movement of the tides over golden sand. The, let your guide design your day to be as active or relaxed as you wish with another night at Meadowbank Homestead - Awaroa.

Options include:

  • Explore Awaroa estuary on foot or by kayak (tides permitting)
  • Visit early European and pre-European historical sites
  • Unwind on the beach
  • Relax and enjoy the comforts of Meadowbank Homestead.

Approximate Times:
Walking time: up to 4 hours (optional)
Optional kayaking: up to 2 hours (tides permitting)

Meals included: Breakfast, Morning and Afternoon Tea, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Awaroa to Torrent Bay
Wake to breakfast overlooking the gardens of Meadowbank Homesead, watching the movement of the tides over golden sands. Walk with your Guide to the golden expanse of Onetahuti Beach then paddle to Torrent Bay, through Tonga Island Marine Reserve and exploring hidden inlets along the way.

  • At around 9.30 am, we depart Awaroa for the scenic walk over the Tonga Saddle to Onetahuti. Here, your guide will settle you into your kayaks with full training and safety brief. Don’t worry, you won’t leave the beach until your guide is satisfied you can safely negotiate the coast in your kayak. (If you are a travelling on your own, your Guide will find a suitable paddling partner for you).
  • In good weather, there’s the opportunity to visit the Seal Colony on Tonga Island where New Zealand fur seals breed. It’s often possible to spot new-born pups here in December and January
  • As you enjoy the sensation of paddling through the clear turquoise waters of the Park, we’ll cruise past Tonga Quarry and the Tonga Arches, where your guide will explain the history of this granite area, pointing out some of the unusual natural features and relics from the historic quarry
  • Around midday, stop for lunch at sheltered Bark Bay, where you can take time out to explore, swim or relax on the golden sand
  • After lunch, we continue our paddle, beach hopping along the coast with picture-postcard views, including the Falls River and Frenchman’s Bay,
  • At around 4.30 pm paddle into Torrent Bay to be welcomed with refreshments and a hot shower in your ensuite room.

Approximate times:
Walk Awaora to Onetahuti 1.5 hours (5 kms)
Sea Kayak Onetahuti to Torrent Bay 4 hours (10 kms)

Meals included: Breakfast, Morning and Afternoon Tea, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Explore Torrent Bay
Today is a day of choices! Let your guide plan an adventurous or relaxing day to suit you with another night at Torrent Bay Lodge, right on the beach.

Options include:

  • Walk through breathtaking first generation forest, up to the waterfalls on Falls River;
  • Canoe in the estuary (tides permitting) and visit the peaceful grotto of Cleopatra's Pool,
  • Walk to the golden expanse of Anchorage beach and picturesque Te Pukatea cove, visiting historic Maori sites at Pitt Head along the way.

Approximate Times:
Optional walking: up to 5 hours (10 kms)
Optional canoeing: tide dependant

Meals included: Breakfast, Morning and Afternoon Tea, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Torrent Bay to Kaiteriteri
Wake to early morning sun over the golden sands of Torrent Bay and a hearty home-cooked breakfast to set you up for another day of scenic paddling.

Approximate times:
Sea Kayak Torrent Bay to Kaiteriteri 4.5 hours (12 kms)
Bus Kaiteriteri to Motueka (20 mins) or Nelson (1.5 hours)

Meals included: Breakfast, Morning and Afternoon Tea, Lunch

  • Around 9.30 am we leave Torrent Bay by kayak and glide southwards along the coast, to discover the pristine bays and beaches named by French Explorer, Dumont D'urville in 1827.
  • Paddle the idyllic waters of Te Pukatea Bay. In the sheltered Astrolabe Roadstead, paddle along the picturesque coast of Adele Island, now a predator-free sanctuary ringing with birdsong.
  • If the wind is with you, your guide will help you hoist a specially designed sail so you can ride the sea breeze.
  • We’ll stop for lunch and a rest at any one of the bays, before we continue our journey through azure waters to the famous Kaiteriteri beach, where our coach will be waiting to meet you for the return journey to Motueka (4.30pm) or Nelson (5.30pm).

Important Additional Information:

Keep in mind that kayaking or walking each day is optional. You are welcome to travel on any of our scheduled ferry services. Please discuss this option with your guide prior to each day’s departure.

If you find that sea kayaking is not for you, you have the option of joining the walk group that is walking the kayaking sections of this itinerary. This flexibility is perfect for couples or groups that want to visit the park together but don't all want to kayak, some preferring to walk or boat between lodges.

The direction of the 5 Day Guided Kayak & Walking Trip may be reversed on some departures with earlier pick up in Nelson (7.15 - 7.30 am) and Motueka (8.30 am)

Lodges

The only lodge accommodation right on the beach in the heart of Abel Tasman National Park.

No need to travel out of Abel Tasman National Park each evening to relax in your own twin/double room with ensuite bathroom and meals cooked for you.

If you want to stay overnight beside the beach in Abel Tasman National Park with a little more luxury than sleeping in a tent or communal bunk room and carrying all your food to cook on a camp fire, let us welcome you to our eco-lodges in the Park.

Our lodges are built from sustainable and recycled wood sources. Water usage and power generation are designed to minimise the impact of our Lodges on both the natural and social environment of the Park, without losing the convenience and comfort of modern facilities. See our Environmental Policy for more details.

You can choose walking, guided sea kayaking and boat cruising or just relax on the beach, then come home to a hot shower in your own room, secure in the knowledge that we are working to preserve the unique environment that makes our Beachfront Lodges such special places. It's guilt-free indulgence.

Both lodges are only available to guests on guided 2, 3 or 5 day itineraries

For lodge details:

Torrent Bay Lodge

Meadowbank Homestead - Awaroa

Please click here for a location map or for a full screen map click here

GPS: -40.916107,173.014069

 

For prices and enquiries

Please click here

This activity is also available as part of on of our Custom Itineraries or holidays, please visit our home page to learn more about how we can help you with your holiday.

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