3 Day Self-Guided Walk

NEW FOR 2018-19. For the independent walker looking for modern comforts at our Beachfront Lodges and advice to make the most of each day.

  • Best For: Lodge-based independent walking. Meals cooked for you.
  • Cost: per Adult $1250, per Child (8-14 yrs) $875. Shoulder Season save $127 per adult
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Walk the most spectacular part of the Abel Tasman track, staying one night at each of our Beachfront Lodges: Meadowbank Homestead - Awaroa and Torrent Bay Lodge.

We provide comprehensive track notes and advice on weather and tides to help you make the most of each day. Your hosts book boat transfers as required to so you can choose the amount of walking that suits you each day. Luggage is transported to your room at the Lodge, so you carry only a light day pack.

Explore on your own, then come home to a welcome at our Lodge with pre-dinner drinks and snacks. Freshen up with a hot shower while your hosts cook a delicious 3-course dinner.

After dinner, spend time on your own, take a romantic stroll on the beach or swap stories with fellow travellers, then retire to your own room to be lulled to sleep by waves lapping golden sand.

Choose cooked or continental breakfast and build your own lunch from the range of salads, sandwiches, snacks, fruit and sweet treats. Linger with an extra coffee at the Lodge, or set off to explore as early as you like.

Day 1: Nelson / Motueka to Awaroa via Totaranui

All aboard our Vista Cruise vessel! From Kaiteriteri at the southern tip of the Park, cruise north to Totaranui along 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. Some departures have an earlier start. See Start/Finish Times (below) for more details.
  • Pick up your track notes, and leave any extra luggage not required on your trip in safe storage at our Motueka Office. If you are self-driving we will direct you to safe parking.
  • 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.
  • To be arranged before you disembark at Totaranui, you will either walk across the Awaroa inlet at low tide, or take a boat ride at high tide.
  • 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. 
  • Discuss your options for the next day with your hosts. They will book any boat transfers required.

Approximate Times:
Scenic drive to Kaiteriteri – from Nelson 1 hours, from Motueka 20 mins
Vista 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, Dinner

Day 2: Awaroa to Torrent Bay

After a relaxing night’s sleep and home-cooked breakfast overlooking the gardens by the sea at Meadowbank, you’ll be ready for your scenic day walk to Torrent Bay. Your walk is split into three sections, with the option of a boat pick up at each beach. If you're not feeling energetic, arrange for boat transfers before you leave the Lodge.

Section 1:  Awaroa to Onetahuti and Tonga Quarry 6 km (3.5 miles) Max elevation 85 m (280 ft)

  • 9 am (approx.) leave Awaroa to enjoy a morning walking through native forest with magnificent coastal views, then walk along the golden sands of Onetahuti Beach.
  • Continue on to explore the historic sites and picturesque golden cove of Tonga Quarry beach.

Section 2:  Tonga Quarry to Bark Bay 4km (2.5 miles) Max elevation 120 m (400 ft)

  • From Tonga Quarry, walk over a forested saddle and around the Waterfall Trail to Bark Bay.
  • Midday, stop for lunch at Bark Bay, taking time out to relax, explore, swim or sunbathe on the golden sands.  

Section 3: Bark Bay to Torrent Bay 7 kms (4.4 miles) Max elevation 105 m (340 ft)

  • From Bark Bay, 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 Torrent Bay.
  • Around 4.30 pm: 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 whist keeping its relaxed, beach holiday atmosphere.
  • After your 3-course dinner, discuss your options for next day with your hosts and book any boat transfers required.

Leisurely options:

  • 11.50 am, board the Vista catamaran at Tonga Quarry. Cruise to Bark Bay to join the rest of your group for lunch or continue on to Torrent Bay.
  • 3.00 pm, board the Vista catamaran at Medlands Beach (Bark Bay) to cruise to Torrent Bay. 

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

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Torrent Bay to Motueka/Nelson

Wake up to morning light on the golden sands of Torrent Bay and perhaps a coffee on the deck before breakfast. Then on your final day, walk the easiest section of the coastal track from Torrent Bay to Marahau, 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.

  • Depart Torrent Bay Lodge at about 9.00 am
  • Around midday, stop for lunch at a sheltered beach with views of the islands in the Astrolabe Roadstead.
  • Our driver meets you at Marahau (or Kaiteriteri) to Motueka (4.30 pm) or Nelson (5.30 - 6.00 pm)**.

For less walking time:

  • Join the Vista Cruise at Torrent Bay, Anchorage beach or Apple Tree Bay to return to Kaiteriteri. (To be arranged before you leave Torrent Bay Lodge)

Approximate times:
Walk 4-5 hours, depending on tides (13 - 16 kms, 8 - 10 miles)
Maximum elevation 110 m (360 ft)
Scenic drive Marahau/Kaiteriteri to Motueka (20 mins) or Nelson (1 hour)

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

This itinerary is reversed for Wednesday departures. Click Here for Details

Start/Finish times

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).
The earlier pick-up applies to most Wednesday departures and all departures after NZ daylight savings finishes at the beginning of April.
Please confirm the start/finish time with us before you book connecting airline flights.

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.

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

Please see our Terms and Conditions

Prices valid to  30 Sept 2019. Click here for Shoulder Season prices.

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)

Email: info@AbelTasman.co.nz