5 Day Kayak & Walk Break
The ultimate combination of relaxation and adventure. You choose how active you want to be. Your Guide will organise it all for you.
- Best For: Tranquillity and variety
- Cost: per Adult $2115, per Child (12-14 yrs) $1692 - Shoulder Season Rates save $125 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.
Prices valid to 19 October 2017. Click here for Shoulder Season prices.
Children under 12 years: If an exclusive Kayak guide is hired for your child/family we can relax the age limit down to 10 years and the trip can then be modified to suit your abilities and interests. Please contact us to arrange this.
Click on the Itinerary Tab above for daily details of your trip.
Departures every Tuesday year-round.
Departures every Tuesday and Friday from November through to March. Friday departures over the Christmas/New Year period, and through February are limited. Please contact us for availability.
Special itineraries can be arranged on other days. Please contact us for details.
From April to October please contact us to check availability as minimum numbers are required to guarantee a departure.
Immerse yourself in the beauty and tranquillity of Abel Tasman National Park.
During your extra days you can delve deeper into the Park or relax by the beach.
- Try enclosed-water kayaking in tranquil lagoons
- Swim in protected, crystal-clear waters
- Kick back on a golden-sand beach
- Hike inland to see historic sites and pristine mountain streams cascading through native forest.
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. You can choose to walk or catch a boat if you find you don't enjoy kayaking.
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. Low season departures (19 April to 19 October) have an earlier start time. 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 hour) or 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: 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 comfortable surroundings of the lodge and perhaps a coffee on the verandah watching the movement of the tides over golden sand. Then, let your guide design your day to be as active or relaxed as you wish with another night at Meadowbank Homestead - Awaroa.
- 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.
Walking time: up to 4 hours (optional)
Optional kayaking: up to 2 hours
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.
- 9.30 am, 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).
- Weather permitting, 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.
- Enjoy the sensation of paddling through the clear turquoise waters of the Park as we 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.
- 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.
Walk Awaroa to Onetahuti 1.5 hours 5 kms (3 miles)
Max elevation 85 m (280 ft)
Sea Kayak Onetahuti to Torrent Bay 4 hours (10 kms. 6 miles)
Meals included: Breakfast, Morning and Afternoon Tea, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4: Explore Torrent Bay
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.
- Walk through breathtaking first generation forest, up to the waterfalls on Falls River;
- Canoe or walk around the estuary 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;
- Relax on the beach at Torrent Bay.
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 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 driver will be waiting to meet you for the return journey to Motueka (4.30 pm) or Nelson (5.30 - 6.00 pm).**
Sea Kayak Torrent Bay to Kaiteriteri 4.5 hours (12 kms)
Scenic drive 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).
This early pick up applies to all departures after NZ daylight savings time ends at the beginning of April.
If Start/Finish times don't suit your itinerary, please contact us to make alternative arrangements.
Please confirm the start/finish time with us before you book connecting airline flights.
Important Additional Information
Kayaking or walking each day is optional. You are welcome to travel on any of our scheduled ferry services. If you find that sea kayaking is not for you, you have the option of joining the 5 Day 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.
We reserve the right to alter itineraries, timetables and vessel types. All travel subject to weather and tides which may cause delay/cancellation.
As well as a wonderful holiday experience, your Walking Break includes:
- All top quality kayaking gear, with full instructions and safety brief: stable double kayak, buoyancy aid, spray jacket and dry bags to keep gear dry. (We cannot guarantee to keep delicate cameras or electronic gear dry so these are taken at your risk in the kayak).
- 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
- No worries about lugging around heavy luggage. Lodge luggage bag and use of a daypack, with transfer and storage of luggage is included.*
- You choose how much walking or kayaking you want to do each day as you can join any scheduled boat service operated by us.
- Track notes, maps and advice from our expert guides to help you design each day to be as active or relaxed as you wish.
- 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