3 Day Abel Tasman 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.
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 Mārahau.
Walking the gentlest grade on the track, rediscover the pristine bays and headlands named by French explorer, Dumont D’Urville in 1827. Stop for lunch at any one of the bays then continue on for 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.
Scenic drive from Nelson (1 hour) or Motueka (20 minutes)
Walk 4-5 hours (depending on tides) – 13-16km/8-10 miles; maximum elevation 110m/360ft
Accommodation: Torrent Bay Lodge
Meals included: lunch, afternoon tea, dinner
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
9am Our coach departs for a scenic drive to Mārahau to start your walk.
12 noon (approx.) Stop for lunch at a sheltered beach with views over the Astrolabe Roadstead to Adele Island.
Tides will determine whether you walk around the Torrent Bay inlet taking in views overlooking Anchorage Beach, or take the fun short-cut across the inlet to Torrent Bay village
4.30–5.00pm Welcome to Torrent Bay Lodge
Day 2: Torrent Bay to Awaroa
Your walk today follows the coastal track through cool native forest and reaches golden sand beaches, perfect for swimming. Start with a relaxing breakfast overlooking the beach from Torrent Bay Lodge then choose how much walking you want to do – your hosts will arrange boat transfers to suit your needs.
Walk in 3 sections of 2 hours each
1. Torrent Bay to Bark Bay – 7km/4.4 miles; maximum elevation 105m/340ft
2. Bark Bay (Medlands Beach) to Tonga Quarry – 5km/3 miles; maximum elevation 120m/400ft
3. Tonga Quarry and Onetahuti to Awaroa – 8km/5 miles; maximum elevation 85m/280ft
Accommodation: Meadowbank Homestead at Awaroa
Meals included: breakfast, morning & afternoon tea, lunch, dinner
9.30am Depart Torrent Bay to walk the most varied section of the coastal track as it winds through verdant gullies of mature beech forest, fern grottos and sunny groves of fragrant manuka framing coastal vistas. Cross the swing bridge at Falls River.
11.30 - 12.30 Take time out for lunch at Bark Bay. Facilities include shelter, picnic tables, and modern toilets. Rest in the shade, explore the bay or refresh with a swim.
Take the waterfall trail around Bark Bay featuring views of the cascade from a sturdy swing bridge. Then, walk over a forested saddle to the historic site of Tonga Quarry.
Approx 2.30pm Walk along the stretch of golden sands on Onetahuti beach leading to a beautiful boardwalk and bridge designed by local iwi (Māori tribe). From the boardwalk a last gentle climb takes you to spectacular views over the Awaroa inlet.
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 Totaranui
Cross the largest tidal inlet on the coast, then walk through mature native forest and along secluded beaches to the spectacular golden expanse of Totaranui 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.
Walk Awaroa to Totaranui – 2 hours 30 min (9km/5.5 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
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.
11.20am or 2.40pm At Tōtaranui, 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 Tōtaranui, 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
- walking each day is optional. You are welcome to travel on any of our scheduled ferry services to enjoy relaxed sightseeing and wonderful overnight lodge stays
- 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