Abel Tasman National Park is the most popular national park in all of New Zealand based on the number of visitors annually. The main draw are the excellent secluded beaches and range of outdoor activities available. The most popular of which are kayaking, tramping (hiking), and camping. The park is located about 1.5 hours from Nelson and there are numerous tourist buses waiting to take you there and back. Since I’m not much of a kayak person I opted to do the Coast Track. I arranged a water taxi to take me from the nearest town of Marahau to the beach Tonga. Since I had a car I had all day to do the walk from Tonga to the carpark at Marahau, a total distance of about 26km.
The track itself is mostly flat with a few hills and hugs the coast. I stopped off at just every beach and took a quick dip into the cool water which was really great after getting sweaty from tramping. The water this time of year is approximately 20C, which is really refreshing when you’re drenched in sweat from hiking. The water taxi dropped me at Tonga at 10:30 and got back to the carpark in Marahau at around 19:00. I could’ve gotten back sooner but I took my time at each beach soaking up some sun, enjoying the cool seawater and taking in the incredible views. All in all it was a great day and I would highly recommend a visit to anyone who’s going to New Zealand’s South Island.