Day 1 - Marahau to Anchorage (approx. 4 hours - 12.4km)
Pick up from your accommodation (or nearby) in the Nelson area at approx. 7.15am. Road transport to Marahau arriving at the AquaTaxi base there at 8.30am. Here you will be met for your full briefing, collect your lunches for today, check-in your bags for luggage transfers and then head off. The walk today is 12.4kms and passes through regenerating forest, beside beautiful golden sand beaches while paralleling the Astrolabe Roadstead – the waterway with Adele and Fishermans Islands defining it.
Enjoy walking along the beaches – Apple Tree Bay being a favourite, before gaining some altitude (approx. 100m) with resultant magical views over all of Tasman Bay, before dropping into the perfect beach of Anchorage.
Accommodation options for your first evening:
Spend the night in Anchorage in our 'Comfort Camping' site, where you’ll be welcomed into the camp and offered a chilled glass of wine or beer and some nibbles. Dinner & breakfast will be prepared by our camp guide and you’ll spend the night in your own luxury tent (large enough to stand up in) large air mattresses with full bedding provide a restful sleep (breakfast and dinner included). The site doesn’t have hot showers – there is only a cold outside shower, but the location is simply stunning. A glow worm cave tour in the evening, with a stroll along the beach with the moonlight shimmering in the water is a great way to complete your day.
Alternatively, you would take the water taxi back to Marahau for the evening and stay here in a B+B and enjoy dinner in one of the restaurants in the town (additional cost applies for dinner). You would then take the water taxi back to Anchorage the following morning.
Day 2 - Anchorage to Awaroa Inlet (approx. 8 hours - 23km (or 19.8km with tidal shortcut))
This morning you begin by crossing the Torrent Bay Inlet to the settlement there before heading inland and descending into Medlands Bay and then coming across Bark Bay. From Bark Bay you ascend again to the highest point before descending into the historic Tonga granite quarry – long since abandoned. It’s a great spot for a break, Tonga Island sits out there directly in front of the quarry and it’s a great place for a swim.
The long Onatahuti Beach is the next feature and you meander along it soaking up the beauty – and a tidal estuary crossing meets you at the end of the beach. From there a gentle ascent through manuka and tree fern forest until you turn off to Awaroa Lodge, your accommodation for the night.
Accommodation – Awaroa Lodge
Day 3 - Awaroa Inlet to Totaranui (3 hours walking – 8.1kms)
Leaving the elegance and beauty of Awaroa you make your way across the huge Awaroa Inlet to Pound Gully. Here the track weaves it way through some amazing virgin New Zealand forest with podocarp giants reaching skyward, before bursting out on yet another golden sand beach – Waiharakeke Bay.
Up and over another headland with huge native Rata trees clinging to the granite cliffs. It's here you see your destination, the beach of Totaranui stretching out in the distance. Before long you see tents, cars and people as you make your way to the pick-up point for your water taxi journey back to Marahau. On this you complete your Abel Tasman experience by seeing from the sea, all the landscape you spent 3 days walking through.
On returning to Marahau, our land transport will meet you and return you to Nelson, arriving back in Nelson around 6pm.
Please note - Part of the track is tidal and the tides (and accommodation availability) indicate the direction of the walk and this may change from the itinerary above, according to the tide timetable of the dates you choose for your walk.
Available daily year round (Winter itineraries may vary slightly)