3 Day Walking Break
On this journey along the Abel Tasman Coast Track, you choose to walk all the way, take short hikes, or relax aboard our scenic boat cruise.
- Best For: Seeing it all in 3 days
- Cost: per Adult $1470, per Child (8-14 yrs) $1030, Shoulder Season Rates save $150 per adult
Online booking is available for most departures during our high season. If you are unable to book your preferred departure online, please contact us to check availability and itinerary details. To Book Online and hold your place without full payment, please complete the booking without payment. We we will contact you for NZ$100 deposit to secure your booking.
Click the Itinerary Tab above for daily details of this trip.
Want to walk unguided? Click here for details.
Southound Departures (Totaranui to Marahau) every Monday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday
Northbound Departure (Marahau to Totaranui) every Wednesday
Direction of travel is designed to use resources most efficiently at our Lodges. The only difference to your experience is an earlier start time for Northbound trips.
We recommend you join one of our scheduled departures. With no road access in the Park, every trip is a journey so our trips are designed to show you the best of Abel Tasman National Park with more time for you to relax or explore. We can make special arrangements for you to join 2 days of a 3-Day trip. See our suggested 2 Day/1 Night Walking Break.
*All departures are year-round, subject to availability and can be reversed to suit conditions. Special itineraries can sometimes be arranged if our scheduled departures don't suit you. Please contact us for details.
Other OptionsWe Operate These Options:
Before you arrive: Please call our office toll free 0800 221 888 to reconfirm details of your pick-up location and dietary requirements. We want to make sure we have everything just right for you.
Your luggage: If you let us know where you are staying in Nelson, your complimentary Lodge Luggage Bag (to be transported to our lodges by boat) will be delivered to your accommodation. If you are arriving in the region on the morning of your trip with us, your Lodge Luggage bag will be available at our Motueka office, with time to repack.
Secure luggage storage for gear you don't want in the National Park, and a safe for valuables is available at our Motueka office.
On the morning of your departure we 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 you would like one.
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, north to Totaranui we echo the contours of the spectacular Abel Tasman coastline. Relax on the upper or lower viewing decks and enjoy a hot drink from the cafe. From Totaranui, walk through mature beech and rata forests, and along secluded golden beaches to the breathtaking expanse of the Awaroa inlet. Here, 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 (10.15 - 10.45 am) or Motueka (11.30 am) or if you are self driving please meet at our office by 11.30 am. Wednesday departures and some low season departures have an earlier start. See Start/Finish Times (below) for more details.
- 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 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.
Scenic drive to Kaiteriteri – from Nelson 1 hours, from Motueka 20 mins
Cruise Kaiteriteri to Totaranui – 1.5 hours.
Walk - 2.5 hours (7 kms, 4.5 miles) including tidal crossing
Maximum elevation 60 m (200 ft)
Meals included: Lunch, Afternoon Tea, Dinner
Day 2: Awaroa to Torrent Bay
After a relaxing night’s sleep and home-cooked breakfast overlooking the gardens by the sea at Meadowbank, you’ll be ready for your scenic day walk to Torrent Bay. If you're not feeling energetic, your Guide will arrange for a boat ride so can choose the amount of walking to suit.
Section 1: 6 km (3.5 miles) Max elevation 85 m (280 ft)
- 9 am (approx.) leave Awaroa to enjoy a morning walking through native forest with magnificent coastal views, then walk along the golden sands of Onetahuti Beach.
- Continue on to explore the historic sites and picturesque golden cove of Tonga Quarry beach.
Section 2: 4km (2.5 miles) Max elevation 120 m (400 ft)
- From Tonga Quarry, walk over a forested saddle and around the Waterfall Trail to Bark Bay.
- Midday, stop for lunch at Bark Bay, taking time out to relax, explore, swim or sunbathe on the golden sands.
Section 3: 7 kms (4.4 miles) Max elevation 105 m (340 ft)
- From Bark Bay, walk the most varied section the coastal track as it winds through shady gullies of mature Beech forest, fern grottos and sunny groves of Manuka framing coastal vistas.
- Cross the swing bridge at Falls River and continue on to Torrent Bay.
- Around 4.30 pm: A welcome awaits at Torrent Bay Lodge, right on the beachfront. This was the Wilson family’s holiday home, now tastefully extended and renovated to include all modern comforts whist keeping its relaxed, beach holiday atmosphere.
- 11.50 am, board the Vista catamaran at Tonga Quarry. Cruise to Bark Bay to join the rest of your group for lunch or continue on to Torrent Bay.
- 3.00 pm, board the Vista catamaran at Medlands Beach (Bark Bay) to cruise to Torrent Bay.
Maximum total Walking time: 7 hours (17 kms, 10.5 miles)
Meals included: Breakfast, Morning and Afternoon Tea, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3: Torrent Bay to Motueka/Nelson
Wake up to morning light on the golden sands of Torrent Bay and perhaps a coffee on the deck before breakfast. Then on your final day, walk the easiest section of the coastal track from Torrent Bay to Marahau, with panaromic views across Tasman Bay to Nelson. Along the way you’ll rediscover the pristine bays and beaches named by French Explorer, Dumont D'Urville in 1827.
- Depart Torrent Bay Lodge at about 9.00 am
- Around midday, stop for lunch at a sheltered beach with views of the islands in the Astrolabe Roadstead.
- Our driver meets you at Marahau (or Kaiteriteri) to Motueka (4.30 pm) or Nelson (5.30 - 6.00 pm)**.
For less walking time:
- Join the Vista Cruise at Torrent Bay, Anchorage beach or Apple Tree Bay to return to Kaiteriteri.
Walk 4-5 hours, depending on tides (13 - 16 kms, 8 - 10 miles)
Maximum elevation 110 m (360 ft)
Scenic drive Marahau/Kaiteriteri to Motueka (20 mins) or Nelson (1 hour)
Meals included: Breakfast, Morning and Afternoon Tea, Lunch
The direction of this trip may be reversed on some departures with earlier pick up in Nelson (7.15 - 7.40 am) and Motueka (8.15 am).
The earlier pick-up applies to most Wednesday departures, and all departures after NZ daylight savings time finishes at the beginning of April.
If Start/Finish times don't suit your itinerary, please contact us to make alternative arrangements. All our itineraries can be flexible to accommodate your needs or schedule.
Please confirm the start/finish time with us before you book connecting airline flights.
Important Additional Information:
Walking each day is optional. You are welcome to travel on any of our scheduled ferry services. This flexibility is perfect for couples or groups with different interests and abilities - some preferring to walk, others to take the boat between lodges. As our 3 Day Guided Walk runs at the same time as our 3 Day Guided Kayak & Walk break, some of your group can choose the Kayak & Walk option.
We reserve the right to alter itineraries, timetables and vessel types. All travel subject to weather and tides which may cause delay/cancellation. This itinerary is reversed for Wednesday departures.
*During our low season (May to November) this itinerary might be altered to make the most of our winter sunshine, with 2 night's accommodation at Torrent Bay Lodge. Low Season Itinerary here.
Please see our Terms and Conditions
As well as a wonderful holiday experience, your Walking Break includes:
- Scenic cruise along the length of the spectacular Abel Tasman coast.
- Delicious fresh meals prepared by our skilled Lodge Hosts (dinner, breakfast, picnic lunch, snacks, fresh fruit, morning and afternoon teas). More details here.
- Accommodation in share twin/double room with ensuite bathroom, including wonderful hot showers and all bedding.
- All luggage transfers and luggage storage*. We supply a Lodge luggage bag (yours to keep). You can choose to use your own daypack or borrow one of ours.
- Track notes, maps and advice from our expert Guides to help you design each day to be as active or relaxed as you wish with boat back-up to shorten each day's walk.
- All scheduled coach transfers from and to Motueka or Nelson.
*If you have extra luggage you are sure will not be needed on your trip with us, and you are staying at the same accommodation before and after your trip, you might prefer to leave your luggage there
What to Wear
We enjoy glorious weather, year round. Lots of winter sunshine and summer sea breezes keep temperatures comfortable in every season. Maximum summer temperatures average 22 degrees C (72 F). In the cooler months, you can expect crisp, clear mornings (light frosts rarely fall below zero degree C or 32 degrees F), and temperatures fall as soon as the sun goes down, making the open fires at our Lodges even more inviting.
New Zealand weather can change rapidly, so any experience of our wonderful outdoors requires you to be prepared for four seasons in one day. Bring a warm layer of wool or polar fleece and a light rain jacket to ensure your comfort. The Coastal Track is well formed and mostly shaded by native forest. The track comes down onto golden-sand beaches fringed by lush native forest and protected azure waters - ideal for swimming.
Not recommended: Cotton clothing (especially denim). It is very heavy and cold if it gets wet, and takes a long time to dry. Thermal, quick-dry fabrics are best eg. Polypropylene, polar fleece, wool.
For kayaking, we provide a spray jacket and buoyancy vest that will keep you warm on most days when paddling. Bring a spare set of clothing and warm layer to be stored in the kayak so you can change into dry gear if necessary. Always bring some shoes you can walk in, in case weather causes you to land on a beach where some walking might be necessary.
Abel Tasman National Park enjoys the highest number of sunshine hours in the country. Our clear skies, with no pollution result in a very high risk of sunburn, even on a cloudy day. Bring sunglasses, hat and sunscreen.
We recommend cool, light, comfortable footwear. Not recommended: any shoes with no heel attachment, eg. jandals, flip flops, scuffs, slides etc. Click here for more information on suitable footwear (Note this is a PDF file).
For walking: Light, comfortable walking shoes are suitable to walk the track. If you have hiking boots, wear them if you prefer but they are not necessary. Depending on tides and conditions, you can usually keep your feet dry. On rare occasions, you might have to remove your shoes and roll up long trousers when you are embarking or disembarking from our boats. Please wear suitable clothing and footwear to allow for this. There will be time to rinse feet and put shoes back on when necessary.
For kayaking: Weather conditions might require pulling into a beach for shelter and some walking may be required. You might like to do some exploring on foot. Therefore, please bring some footwear, suitable for walking. Footwear in the kayak is optional. Many people find it more comfortable to wear some foot cover to prevent their heels rubbing against the kayak. Rubber water socks are ideal.
Bring your own or borrow one of our 30 litre day packs. Please use a plastic liner inside the day pack to ensure your day requirements stay dry. (Kayakers only: the day pack will be stored in watertight holds in the kayaks. For important items, such as cameras and spare clothes, we will supply a special watertight "dry-bag").
Please Note: We cannot guarantee to keep camera or electronic equipment dry.
- Any essential personal medication must be carried with you each day
- Sandshoes, water socks or sports sandals for tidal crossings (they will get wet). Jandals (flip-flops, scuffs, thongs etc.) are NOT suitable. Click here for more information on suitable footwear for estuary crossings (Note this is a PDF file)
- Good sports/hiking shoes. You may prefer hiking boots, but they are not necessary on the well formed track
- Swim wear and towel (optional). Beach towels can be purchased at our office
- Sun hat, sunscreen and insect repellent (available to buy at our office)
- Hand steriliser (please no wipes)
- Lunch and water bottle (supplied by us)
- Waterproof parka with hood (disposable rain coat available to buy at our office)
- Camera and film (waterproof disposable cameras available to buy at our office)
- Please do not bring tissues or paper towels. They add to litter in the Park. Bring cotton handkerchiefs
- Kayakers will need a change of clothing including a warm sweater or polar fleece
- Thermal underwear (even in summer) is highly recommended
- Bring quick-dry clothing, if possible: thermal fibres, polar fleece or wool. Avoid cotton, especially denim (very cold and heavy when wet).
Lodge Luggage Bag
Sports bag 47x35x25cm supplied by us and carried by launch to the Lodges. All clothing should be put in waterproof plastic bags that we provide for extra protection during the boat transfers:
- Underwear, including socks and sleepwear
- Spare set of hiking clothes
- Casual evening clothes
- Light lodge shoes (slippers)
- Personal toiletries
- Flashlight/torch (can be purchased from our office)
Electrical appliances (eg. hair dryers, battery chargers, razors, sleep apnoea machines) can be used with our off-grid power system.
PLEASE DO NOT TAKE INTO THE PARK valuable jewellery, wallets, essential paperwork (travel documents, passports etc). Small items can be kept in a safe in our office.
CELL PHONES & WiFi: Cellular voice and data is intermittent but there is enough coverage to check messages along the coastal track, except at Awaroa.
We are establishing a remote network to service both of our lodges. This should be available to guests from January 2015.
As well as a wonderful holiday experience, with skilled, friendly guides, chefs and boat crew, we supply:
- ALL food (breakfast, lunch, dinner, morning and afternoon teas
- All linen (bedding and towels) at the lodges
- 750ml water bottles
- Waterproof plastic liners for bags
- For kayakers, all technical and safety equipment is provided, including stable double kayaks, water resistant paddling tops, bouyancy vests, dry bags
- We give you a Lodge Luggage Bag to keep and Day packs are available to borrow