The Abel Tasman National Park

New Zealand’s smallest national park is found on the northern coast of the South Island. Its beachside location makes for a great balance between relaxation and more adventurous activities, meaning its perfect for families, or those who want to sprinkle their outdoor pursuits with a little luxury. Here are a few things to include in your itinerary…

Tonga Island Marine Reserve

The nearby marine reserve is a must visit, and its pristine, welcoming waters are hugely popular with kayakers and swimmers alike. Get out on the water for the rare chance of a dolphin encounter, as well as the opportunity to see some of the seals and little blue penguins which inhabit the coastal area.

The Abel Tasman Coastal Track

The Abel Tasman National Park

One of New Zealand’s nine ‘great walks’, the route winds along the sea front, offering fantastic views and a truly wild outdoor experience. There is genuinely a scenic delight around every corner, whether it be the dramatic granite cliffs, ice blue waters or the untouched vegetation. A highlight of the path is Onetahuti Beach, which is one of the longest and most picturesque beaches in the park. At intervals along the route some of the tidal crossings are only open for a limited window each day, so be sure to check the tide times when you visit! There are a number of campsites and lodges dotted along the track’s 54km, and it takes around five days to complete.

Pitt Head

Within the stunning Te Pukatea Bay, a hiking track winds up toward Pitt Head, the sight of an ancient Maori fort. Once you arrive it is still possible to see the remnants of terracing and food pits, and it's easy to see why the location was chosen as a defensive site, as the panoramic views are unbeatable.