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What's the difference between guided or self-guided trips?

On all overnight trips with us, you are treated with ensuite, share-twin accommodation at our beachfront lodges.

All kayaking trip are guided to ensure your comfort and safety.

Our guided walking trips include the security, knowledge and experience of our professional guides who help you design each day to suit your desired pace of walking, timed around tides and weather conditions. Add fun and comfort to your trip with hot drinks brewed for you on the track. Share a depth of local knowledge to discover a landscape full of stories. Your guide's first aid skills and radio contact provide extra security, and the flexibility to call for boat back-up when required. Choose a walking or kayak & walk combination.

Self guided trips are for you if you are looking for maximum flexibility, and are confident using GPS location devices to make your own decisions. Linger on the golden beaches or test your fitness with extra mileage. Boat back-up is available to change the amount of walking each day to suit, if you arrange this before you leave the lodge each morning.

Discover more about the difference between guided and self-guided walking here: A pick'n'mix Abel Tasman National Park getaway


Coach Pick up/Drop offs

Let us know where you're staying the night before your trip with us so. We pick up from the main accommodation providers in Nelson city, and along Highway 60 between Nelson and Motueka. 

Nelson has many wonderful B&Bs and private homes located in the hills around Nelson. It is not possible to access all of these properties and provide a timely service that suits all guests' travel itineraries. Please note pick up for Mapua is on Highway 60 at the junction with Mapua Drive.

For most departures we pick up at Nelson Airport if you arrive before 10 am. The exception is trips with early departure: most Wednesdays and all trips outside of daylight savings time (end of September to start of April).

Go to Multiday Coach Pickup for a Google Map showing pick up and drop off points around Nelson.

On the last day of your trip, our driver returns you to accessible locations in Motueka and Nelson, including Nelson Airport for flights departing after 6.30 pm.

Is there WiFi or cellphone reception?

Disconnect for a real wilderness experience, but if you are unable to travel technology-free, WiFi and cellphone coverage is limited. There is free WiFi at our lodges.

Cellphone coverage can be found on headlands or high points in line-of-sight to transmission points. Coverage varies depending on your service provider. Check coverage maps for One NZ (was Vodafone) and/or Spark.

Project Janzoon charitable environmental trust maintains WiFi hotspots through the park, located at:

  • Marahau park entrance
  • Anchorage campground
  • Bark Bay hut and campground
  • Totaranui

Use of their WiFi network requires a NZ$5 donation to the trust, payable by credit card.

Before going into the park, we recommend downloading the Project Janszoon App, with fascinating stories about the environment and history of Abel Tasman National Park.

When is the best time to travel?

Abel Tasman National Park is a great place to visit any time. We have the highest number of sunshine hours in New Zealand, year round and rainfall is evenly distributed throughout the year. Most NZ trees are evergreen, so our native forest is colourful in all seasons and temperatures are mild year-round. 

Average air temperatures and rainfall through the year

  Mean Daily
Max. Temps (°C/°F)
Mean Daily
Min. Temps (°C/°F)
Average Rain
Days (>1mm)
Summer (Dec/Jan/Feb) 22/72 13/55 6
Autumn (Mar/Apr/May) 18/64 8/46 8
Winter (Jun/Jul/Aug) 13/55 3/37 10
Spring (Sept/Oct/Nov) 17/63 7/45 10

Our busiest time is January/February but outside of these times the park is just as spectacular. During our cooler months (April - September), days are often sunny and calm. This is the best time for photography and viewing the wildlife. 

Our beachfront lodges have cosy fires in the living areas, and are centrally heated, so you can relax in comfort, year-round.

What happens to my luggage?

We give you a complimentary lodge luggage bag for overnight gear to be transported to our lodges by boat. Bring your own day pack if you like, or borrow one of our specially designed 30 litre day packs, available at our office.

We have secure storage at our office for excess baggage. If you are staying at the same accommodation when you return from your trip, you may find it more convenient to store luggage there.

Click here for details and dimensions of your complimentary lodge luggage bag.

Packing for your trip
The start of your trip is more enjoyable if you pack as much as possible before your pick up.

Let us know where you are staying the night before your trip with us. We can deliver your lodge luggage bag to main accommodation providers in Nelson city and Motueka.

If delivery is not possible, or you are flying into Nelson on the day your trip starts, your lodge luggage bag will be available at our office. To arrange your luggage with ease and speed at the office please separate into two bags:

  1. Overnight gear in one bag ready to transfer into your lodge luggage bag.
  2. If you wish to borrow a day pack, have the day’s requirements separated into a small bag.

For more details, download our Pre-Trip Welcome Information (PDF file) or go to our What to Bring Pages:

Guided Multiday Trip What to Bring.

Self-Guided Multiday Trip What to Bring.


What's the difference between southbound and northbound trips?

Abel Tasman National Park is spectacular from any direction.

Most of our trips travel southbound. To give you more choice of departure days, with our exclusive lodges hosting small groups, most Wednesday departures (and occasionally other departures) travel northbound.

The only difference you will notice is that northbound trips depart a little earlier on the first day (7.30 am from Nelson) so that kayakers reach sheltered waters before the afternoon sea breeze picks up.

Do you charge extra for solo traveller?

We welcome solo travellers. No extra charge if you can share a room with a person of the same gender.

To guarantee a single room we charge and additional 50% on standard rate during high season.

During shoulder seasons (1-31 October, 20-31 January or 1-30 April) the single supplement is standard rate plus 30%.

What happens to my car?

If you self-drive to our Motueka office on the morning of departure, please meet at the time indicated on your itinerary and we will direct you to parking for the duration of your time in the national park.

Parking is off-street but not secured. Please do not leave valuables in your car. There is lock-up storage at our Motueka Office.

We provide coach transfers from most accommodation places in Nelson and Motueka.