3 Day Abel Tasman Kayak & Walk Northbound Itinerary

Your journey along the Abel Tasman coast is spectacular from all directions.

Most of our trips travel southbound. To give you more choice of departure days, our Wednesday trips (and occasionally other departures) travel northbound. These departures have an earlier start in Nelson (from 7.00 am) to meet our boat departure from Kaiteriteri at 9.20 am.

Your guide can shorten the amount of walking and kayaking to suit you.

Day 1:  Nelson/Motueka to Torrent Bay

Take a scenic drive through the coastal orchard and vineyards lining the highway from Nelson to Motueka and Kaiteriteri.

From the golden sands of Kaiteriteri beach, paddle north to explore forested inlets, islands and idyllic beaches of the Astrolabe Roadstead and Anchorage, before your welcome at Torrent Bay Lodge. 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.

Approximate times

Scenic drive from Nelson (1 hour) or Motueka (20 minutes)

Sea kayak from Kaiteriteri to Torrent Bay – 4.5 hours (12km)

Accommodation: Torrent Bay Lodge

Meals included: lunch, afternoon tea, dinner

Trip details

7.00 – 7.15am Coach pick up from Nelson

8.15am Coach pickup Motueka. Self-drive guests meet at our Motueka Office.

8.30am  Pre-tour briefing at our Motueka office with time for last-minute luggage organisation

9.00am  Our coach departs for a scenic drive to Kaiteriteri.

9.30am Your guide introduces you to your kayak at Kaiteriteri beach with full instructions and safety brief. Then, it's on to the water to explore beaches, bays and islands while your guide shares stories of early explorers, and introduces you to the predator-free wildlife sanctuary of Adele Island. If the wind is with you, you may get to hoist a specially designed sail to ride the sea breeze.

12 noon Stop for lunch and a rest at a sheltered beach, then continue your journey to Te Pukatea and Anchorage.

4.30pm (approx.) Paddle into beautiful Torrent Bay with its village of beachfront holiday houses including our Torrent Bay Lodge where your ensuite room and evening meal awaits.

Day 2:  Torrent Bay to Awaroa

Wake up to morning light on the golden sands of Torrent Bay and a hearty breakfast to set you up for kayaking the forest-fringed coast. Paddle into Tonga Island Marine Reserve, then land on Onetahuti beach. Walk over a forested saddle to Awaroa for your welcome at Meadowbank Homestead – a faithful recreation of the Wilson family's original home on the ‘finest site in the bay’. 

Approximate times
Sea kayak from Torrent Bay to Onetahuti – 4 hours (10km/6 miles)

Walk from Onetahuti to Awaroa – 2 hours (7km/4.5 miles); max. elevation 85m/280ft

Accommodation: Meadowbank Homestead at Awaroa

Meals included: breakfast, morning & afternoon tea, lunch, dinner

Trip details

9.30am Settle into your kayak to explore the sculpted granite coast with hidden coves fringed by lush native forest.

12 noon Your Guide helps you choose the best sheltered bay to stop for lunch and take time out to explore, swim or relax on the golden sand.

After lunch, floating on clear, turquoise waters paddle into Tonga Island Marine reserve, past Tonga Quarry and the Tonga Arches, where your guide shares stories about the unusual granite features and relics from the historic quarry. Then, weather permitting, paddle out to watch the antics of seals on Tonga Island.

2.30 pm Land at Onetahuti beach to farewell your kayak and enjoy a break with hot drinks prepared by your guide. Then, walk along the spectacular stretch of golden sand to a beautiful boardwalk and bridge designed by local iwi (Maori tribe) leading to the coastal track over a forested saddle to Awaroa.

4.30 - 5.00pm  Welcome to Meadowbank Homestead at Awaroa, a faithful recreation of the Wilson family's original home on the ‘finest site in the bay’.

Day 3: Awaroa to Motueka/Nelson via Tōtaranui

Cross the largest tidal inlet on the coast, then walk through mature native forest and along secluded beaches to the spectacular golden expanse of Tōtaranui Beach. Board our comfortable Vista Cruise to travel the length of the stunning Abel Tasman coast back to Kaiteriteri, relaxing on the viewing decks and enjoying refreshments from the cafe.

Our coach meets you at Kaiteriteri to return to Motueka and Nelson.

Approximate times

Walk Awaroa to Totaranui – 2 hours 30 min (7km/4.3 miles) including tidal crossing; maximum elevation 100m/340ft

Cruise Totaranui to Kaiteriteri – 1 hour 40 mins

Scenic drive to Motueka (20 mins) or Nelson (1 hour)

Meals included: breakfast, morning tea, lunch

Trip details

 9.00am (depends on tides) Walk across the Awaroa estuary at low tide. At high tide, we have a specially designed barge to take you across the estuary to the start of the track.

Walk through the northern forests of the park with magnificent specimens of Nikau Palm and Rata.

12.40 or 2.40pm  At Totaranui, join our fast, safe, comfortable Vista Cruise to see a different view of the coastline you have just explored by walking. Hot drinks, open or enclosed viewing decks and bathroom facilities are available on board.

If you choose the earlier departure from Totaranui, you can stop at the golden expanse of Anchorage Beach to relax or walk the spectacular Pitt Head Loop before you re-join the Cruise to Kaiteriteri.

4.15 pm Our Coach meets you at Kaiteriteri. Return to Motueka (4.30pm) or Nelson (aprox. 6.00pm)

Please confirm times with us before you book connecting airline flights

Other important information

  • kayaking and walking each day is optional. You are welcome to travel on any of our scheduled ferry services to enjoy relaxed sightseeing
  • our 3 Day Guided Walk runs at the same time as our 3 Day Kayak & Walk so members of your traveling party can book different options, meeting up at the lodges in the evening
  • we reserve the right to alter itineraries, timetables and vessel types
  • all travel is subject to weather and tides which may cause delay or cancellation

To book online, please go to the booking table on our 3 Day Kayak & Walk page.