3 Day Kayak & Walk Break
Stay 1 night at each Beachfront Lodge with the best combination of walking and kayaking to explore the spectacular Abel Tasman coast.
- Best For: Fitting it all into 3 days
- Walking Time: 1 day
- Kayaking Time: 2 days
- Cost: Adult / Child (min. age 12 years) $1470
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 isoloated beaches of Abel Tasman Coast Track, including a scenic cruise along the length of the Abel Tasman coast aboard our Vista Cruise.
Click on the Itinerary Tab above to view daily details of our 3 Day Kayak & Walk Break.
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.
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 contact us for details.
Please note: Trip departures May to October require a minimum of 6 people. If you wish to book with less than 6 people during these months, please contact us for a confirmed departure date.
Published prices are valid to 19 October 2013
How to get here
Click here for detailed driving directions and maps (opens in new window)
Other Sea Kayak & Walk Breaks OptionsWe operate these options:
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.
Please Note: Our itineraries can be flexible to accommodate your needs or schedule so please contact us to discuss options.
Before you arrive: We will be ready and waiting to greet you. To make sure we have everything just right, we ask that the day before your trip with us, you phone our office toll free 0800 221 888 to confirm any dietary requirements and details of your pick-up location. If you let us know where you are staying in Nelson, your complimentary Lodge Luggage Bag (to be transported to our lodges by boat) can 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.
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.
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.
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).**
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:
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)**.
** If start/finish times do not suit your schedule, please contact us to arrange alternative options.
During our quiet season (April to November) this itinerary might be altered to make the most of our winter sunshine, with 2 night's accommodation at Torrent Bay Lodge.
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.
As well as a wonderful holiday experience, your 3-Day Kayak and 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)
- Accommodation in your own 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)
NO HAIRDRIERS PLEASE. Our generated electricity cannot power them. Battery chargers and electric razors are OK.
PLEASE DO NOT TAKE INTO THE PARK valuable jewellery, wallets, essential paperwork (travel documents, passports etc). These can be left in safe storage in our office.
CELL PHONES: Coverage is intermittent south of Awaroa. There is no coverage north of Awaroa Bay.
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