Kayaker in Abel Tasman National Park © Photo Images NZ

Kayaking the Abel Tasman: sheltered coves, granite-fringed headlands, crystal streams and exquisite beaches


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The sand is a colour you simply have never seen before. The water is so blue it doesn’t actually look real.

The walking is wonderful. But to kayak the Abel Tasman is to take control and have one of the best times available on water. Anywhere. The beaches, the coves, the sheer granite headlands and the little hidden bays are just best explored from a boat. This is, after all, a world-renowned kayaking destination. That’s big, man.

Jaw-dropping, in fact. One look at the bright blue waters and the unique golden sand of the AT and you’ll be being fitted for a fibreglass torpedo quicker than you can say ‘what oars?’

The thing about being on the water (and, likely, occasionally in it!) is that not only are you in control of your own destiny (and a small, wobbly, brightly coloured craft), you’re as close as you can get to the myriad marine life that plies the park. Dolphins, penguins and seals may all join your kayaking convoy as you flit from cove to tinkling, clear stream to wetlands to, oh look, another perfect sweep of golden beach! Makes for a remarkable experience.

And if you want to mix it up a bit, Abel Tasman is so well-catered for in terms of places to rest your head, water taxis and general support, you can kayak some, walk some, and boat out. You choose, just know nothing will disappoint. Oh, and if you’re a bit shy or you’re worried about a kayak traffic-jam (and it is a popular summer spot), it’s quite quiet in winter, yet weather-wise still very pleasant. Just a thought.

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13 December 2016 | By mgriffiths

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