Awaroa Pioneer Trail Guided

Relive the triumphs and tragedies of Nelson’s first European settlers, and their interaction with local Maori, told through the personal stories of our direct ancestors.

  • Best For: Exclusive insights
  • Cruise: Kaiteriteri - Awaroa return. 1 hr 45 min each way
  • Walk: Optional up to 4 hours.
  • Start: 9.20 (all year) or 10.30 am (1 Oct-30 April)
  • Finish: 4.15 pm
  • Cost: $220 pp includes Guide (min 2 people). Call us to book.

Gain fascinating insights into the triumphs and tragedies of early European settlement in the Nelson region, told through the personal stories of the Hadfield family. Visit the faithful reproduction of the family's original Meadowbank Homestead, built on "the finest site in the bay".

Relax and enjoy the panoramic views from the gardens of the homestead, or explore further into the inlet and beyond to Onetahuti where local Maori iwi have designed a bridge to represent the journeys taken by visitors to the region since the time of the first Maori migrations.  

For an active day, continue your walk to include the waterfall trail around the Bark Bay inlet.

Click on the Itinerary tab (above) for full details.

Please contact us to book this trip so we can prepare the best experience for you.

9.00 or 10 am: Check in and meet your Guide at Kaiteriteri

9.20 or 10.30 am: Take a scenic Vista Cruise to the isolated northern coast, pausing to watch the antics at Tonga Island Seal Colony. 

11.05 am or 12.20 am: Disembark in the Awaroa inlet to and visit our rebuilt ancestral home, Meadowbank Homestead – Awaroa. Here, your Guide will help you understand why the inlet attracted both Maori and European to its splendour and bounty. Discover our ancestor's stories of love, hope and hardship, and why the the inlet was finally abandoned.

Walking Options: 
Short Walk (2 hours):Take a walk along the coastal track through lush native forest, along the golden sands of Onetahuti to historic Tonga Quarry and witness how human endeavour is now preserving the environment after our pioneering ancestors’ efforts to break in the land. Cross the unique bridge over Onetahuti tidal stream, designed by local Maori Iwi, to gain an insight into their journey from first settlement into the modern world. Walk along the beach and over the headland to explore historic Quarry.
3.00 pm: Rejoin the Vista Cruise at Tonga Quarry to return to Kaiteriteri at 4.15 pm

Longer Walk (4 hours) available 20 October to 31 March:  From Tonga Quarry, continue 4.1 kms (2.5 miles) over the Tonga Saddle and around the Bark Bay inlet with its new swing bridge, along the waterfall trail to Medlands Beach.
5.05 pm: Rejoin the Vista Cruise to return to Kaiteriteri at 6.00 pm

Stay put Option: Relax at Meadowbank Homestead in the gardens overlooking the sea, or explore relics of Maori and European settlement in the largest tidal inlet on the coast.
2.20 pm: rejoin the Vista Cruise at Awaroa to return to Kaiteriteri 4.15 pm

Our friendly Reservations Team is waiting to answer your enquiries and take your booking. Please contact us using the details below or complete the online form on this page and one of our team will reply within 24 hours.

Freephone (New Zealand Only): 0800 223 582 (0800 ABEL TASMAN)
Freephone (Australia Only): 1800-139 341

Telephone (within New Zealand): 03 528 2027
Telephone (outside New Zealand): +64 3 528 2027 (calling outside NZ)