Northbound 3-Day Walk

Most Wednesday departures follow this itinerary.

Northbound 3-Day Walk Itinerary

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

Day 1:  Nelson / Motueka to Torrent Bay

From Nelson or Motueka, drive through coastal vineyards, orchards and rural villages to Marahau. Walk the easiest section of the coastal track from Marahau to Torrent Bay 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.

  • 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 Marahau, the entrance to the National Park.
  • Walk the gentlest grade on the track. Stop for lunch at a sheltered bay with views of the islands in the Astrolabe Roadstead.
  • 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:
Walk 4-5 hours, depending on tides (13 - 16 kms, 8 - 10 miles) 
Maximum elevation 110 m (360 ft)
Scenic Drive to Marahau from Nelson (1 hour 30 minutes) or Motueka (20 minutes)

For less walking time:
Talk to your Guide about taking the Vista Cruise to join up with the group closer to Torrent Bay

Meals included: Lunch, Afternoon Tea and Dinner.

Day 2: Torrent Bay to Awaroa

After a relaxing night’s sleep and home-cooked breakfast overlooking the gardens by the sea at Torrent Bay, you’ll be ready for your scenic walk to Awaroa. 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: Torrent Bay to Bark Bay 7 kms (4.4 miles) Max elevation 105 m (340 ft)

  • 9 am (approx) leave Torrent Bay and 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 Bark Bay for lunch around midday.

Section 2: Bark Bay to Tonga Quarry and Onetahuti 5km (3 miles) Max elevation 120 m (400 ft) 

  • Take the Waterfall trail around Bark Bay inlet and walk over a forested saddle to Tonga Quarry.
  • Explore the historic sites and picturesque golden cove of Tonga Quarry
  • After a break on the beach, walk along the golden sands of Onetahuti beach

Section 3: Onetahuti to Awaroa 5 km (3 miles) Max elevation 85 m (280 ft)

  • 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 with pre-dinner drinks by your hosts at Meadowbank Homestead – Awaroa, a faithful re-creation of the Wilson family’s original home on the finest site in the Bay.

Maximum total Walking time: 7 hours (17 kms, 10.5 miles)

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 60 m (200 ft)

Meals included: Breakfast, Morning Tea, Lunch

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. 

*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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