Northbound 3-Day Kayak & Walk

Most Wednesday departures follow this itinerary

Northbound 3-Day Kayak & Walk Itinerary

Applies to most Wednesday departures. Some other departures might follow this itinerary due to operational conditions.
Please note: walk/kayak times are approximate

Day 1:  Nelson / Motueka to Torrent Bay

From Nelson or Motueka, drive through coastal vineyards, orchards and rural villages to Kaiteriteri or Marahau (depending on tides and weather conditions). Your Guide introduces you to your kayak with full instructions and safety brief, then you discover the pristine bays and beaches named by French Explorer, Dumont D'Urville in 1827.

  • Coach pick up from Nelson (7.15 – 7.30 am) or Motueka (8.15 am) or if you are self driving meet at our office by 8.30 am*.
  • Meet your Guide at our Motueka office for a tour briefing with time for last-minute luggage organisation before departing by Coach to Kaiteriteri or Marahau.
  • After your Guide has settled you into  your stable double kayak, then you explore the spectacular granite coast and offshore islands of the Astrolabe Roadstead, stopping at a sheltered beach for lunch.
  • Around 5pm, 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 whilst keeping it’s relaxed, beach holiday atmosphere.

*Late start alternative:  If you are on a tight schedule, we can arrange a late pick up from Nelson airport or Hotel to join up with your track party.  Please contact us for details.

Approximate times:
Scenic Drive to Kaiteriteri/Marahau from Nelson (1 hour 30 minutes) or Motueka (20 minutes)
Sea Kayak to Torrent Bay – 4 hours, 13km (8 miles)

Meals included: Lunch, Afternoon Tea and Dinner.

Day 2: Torrent Bay to Onetahuti and Awaroa

Kayak along the coast to Onetahuti, through Tonga Island Marine Reserve. Walk over a low saddle to Awaroa.

  • 9am (approx) leave Torrent Bay for a morning of beach hopping up the coast, taking in points of interest including Falls River and Frenchman’s Bay.
  • Stop for lunch at Bark Bay. Take time out to explore, swim or relax on the golden sand.
  • If conditions allow, visit the seal colony at Tonga Island.  Watch out for new-born pups in December and January.
  • Cruising past Tonga Quarry and the Tonga Arches, your guide will explain the history of this granite area, pointing out some of the features and quarry relics.
  • Leave kayaks at Onetahuti and walk over Tonga Saddle to Awaroa
  • A gentle climb through coastal forest takes you up to magnificent views over Awaroa Bay towards Totaranui and across Tasman Bay to Farewell Spit.
  • Around 5 pm, be welcomed by your hosts to Meadowbank Homestead At Awaroa, a faithful re-creation of the Wilson family’s original home on the finest site in the Bay.

Sea Kayak Torrent Bay to Onetahuti (Tonga Beach) - 4 hours (10km, 6 miles)
Walk Onetahuti to Awaroa  - 1 hour 30 minutes (5 km, 3 miles) Max elevation 85 m (280 ft)

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

Day 3:  Awaroa to Nelson / Motueka via Totaranui

From Meadowbank, walk (or take a boat ride at high tide) across the breathtaking expanse of the Awaroa Inlet. Join the Coast Track, to walk through mature beech and rata forests, and along secluded golden beaches to the golden expanse of Totaranui Beach. Then, all aboard our Vista Cruise vessel to travel the length of the spectacular granite coast, back to Kaiteriteri, calling in to beautiful beaches and coves along the way.   Relax on the upper or lower viewing decks and enjoy a hot drink from the cafe.

  • 8.30 am (approx) Cross the Awaroa estuary, and be introduced to its fascinating history
  • Walk through the northern forests of the park with magnificent specimens of Nikau Palm and Rata.
  • At Totaranui, join our fast, safe, comfortable Vista Cruise to see a different view of the coastline you have just explored by walking. 
  • Our Coach meets you at Kaiteriteri to return to Motueka (4.30pm) or Nelson (5.30pm)

Approximate Times:
Walk - 2.5 hours (7 kms, 4.5 miles) including tidal crossing
Vista Cruise Kaiteriteri to Totaranui– 1.5 hours.
Scenic Drive Kaiteriteri to Motueka (20 minutes) or Nelson (1 hour 30 minutes)
Maximum elevation 100 metres (340 ft)

Meals included: Breakfast, Morning Tea, Lunch

Important Additional Information:

Walking or kayaking 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 Kayak & Walk runs at the same time as our 3 Day Guided Walk break, some of your group can choose the walking option.

We reserve the right to alter itineraries, timetables and vessel types. All travel subject to weather and tides which may cause delay/cancellation. 

*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

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Freephone (New Zealand Only): 0800 223 582 (0800 ABEL TASMAN)
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Telephone (within New Zealand): 03 528 2027
Telephone (outside New Zealand): +64 3 528 2027 (calling outside NZ)