Abel Tasman Coastal Walk

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Abel Tasman Coastal Walk

The Abel Tasman Coastal Track is around 60 kilometers in length the track is inside the Abel Tasman National Park in the South Island New Zealand. It reaches out from Marahau in the south to Wainui in the north, with many diverts along the way. It is one of two primary tracks through the recreation reserve, the other being the Abel Tasman Inland Track, which extends for 38 km between Tinline Bay and Torrent Bay.

The area is known for the gentle climate in all seasons, it is available and open through out the entire year. As one of the Department of Conservation Great Walks, the beach front track is well looked after. It is the most mainstream tramping track in New Zealand, with thousands of hikers walking along some portion of the track every year.

The walking track takes around 4 days to walk the whole length from Marahau to Wainui Bay, it is also possible to only walk sections of the track at various points along the way with out doing the full course, there are around eight campsites and cabin accommodation sites dotted along the track some are run by the department of conservation and others are commercial businesses on private land, they all need to be booked in advance during the popular walking season as this is the most popular of all the New Zealand great walks and can get congested at peak times.

The start of the walking track is a 12.4 km segment to Anchorage Bay takes in the estuary of the Marahau River before passing a few little narrows and offering sees out to Fisherman Island and Adele Island. En route, the coves of Tinline Bay, Coquille Bay, Apple Tree Bay, Akersten Bay, and Watering Cove ,after Watering Cove, the track turns inland for around one kilometer before it crosses Anchorage Bay past here the track turns inland for around 10kms before returning back to the coast.

The next 13 km from Bark Bay to Awaroa Inlet takes in the the Tonga Island Marine Reserve, yet proceeds to a great extent through manuka woodland with no coastel views. Bark Bay contains another tidal estuary. At the midpoint, the Abel Tasman Coast Track returns back to the sea and keeps running along the wide sandy shoreline of Onetahuti Bay, with views out to Tonga Island. An extension and footpath cross Richardson Stream and the encompassing wetland, before the track tenderly crosses over the Tonga Saddle to Awaroa Bay.

Awaroa Inlet can be crossed from anyplace between Sawpit Point and the sandy shore before Awaroa Hut. A vast orange triangle marker shows the point where the track proceeds on the other shore and is plainly noticeable from over the channel, which is around 1 km wide.

Amidst the estuary, both Waiharakeke Bay and Goat Bay the way leads along the sandy shorelines. Between Goat Bay and Totaranui, the track climbs steeply to a point above Skinner Point with perspectives north over the wide inlet of Totaranui. At Totaranui a 11 km dirt road from Wainui Bay gives the only road access to the Abel Tasman Coast Track.

The last section of the walk from Whariwharangi to the walks end at Wainui Bay is the briefest, comprising of a 5.7 km from Whariwharangi Bay and over a sadle to Wainui Bay. Once at the estuary's edge, the track takes after the shoreline to an car park. Wainui Inlet itself is not a portion of the Abel Tasman Coast Track.

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