Things to do in the Abel Tasman Area
With our world-famous-in-New-Zealand reputation for brilliant weather, there is no shortage of outdoor activities to try. Experience one of the most famous and most beautiful (we may be biased, but its true!) of New Zealand’s national parks, the Abel Tasman. For assistance choosing or booking please contact us via email or visit reception on arrival.
There are several companies providing a fast and comfortable ride into the heart of the national park in motor boats called water taxis. These are a great option for those wanting to see the park but who don’t have time or prefer not to walk the track. They are great for one way trips to get in and out of the park before or after a walk on the coastal track. Water taxis stop at most of the main bays in the park and pick up/drop off right on the beach. Skippers are very knowledgeable on the national park.
Marahau Water Taxis
Kayaking is a great way to get up close and personal with the sea-life of the national park. There are many options available to suit various levels of ability. Ranging from half day trips to three or even five day packages, some also allowing a one-way kayak so you can get some track walking in too. Most of these options are guided trips featuring an experienced guide who will help you get the most out of your trip. For more experienced travelers there are options to hire kayaks without a guide, often referred to as freedom hires. You can then explore the surrounds at your own pace.
Abel Tasman Kayaks
Abel Tasman Eco Tours’ trips allow a unique experience of the Abel Tasman. Their boat or walking tours are a great day out for children and adults alike who are looking to learn more about the park and its flora and fauna as well as conservation efforts underway here. Small groups and personalised experiences led by expert guides with extensive knowledge of the area mean you get a more intimate experience you will remember for years to come. As well as their full day tours, private charter options are also available for shorter or longer trips.
Abel Tasman Eco Tours
Abel Tasman Sailing Adventures provides the option of gliding into the park in true style! Catamarans take you into the heart of the park for half-day, full day or overnight trips. Once again, your skipper will know the area like the back of his hand and can help you get to know the little gems you might otherwise miss along the way.
Abel Tasman Sailing Adventures
Cruise the Abel Tasman in the comfort of a large spacious vessel with Abel Tasman Sea Shuttles. Their boats offer both outdoor and indoor seating on two levels, so you can relax down below, sheltered from the elements while still enjoying the beautiful views. Experienced guides also share their knowledge of the park along the way, and you might get a stop at one of the seal colonies for a look at the local seals too.
Ideal for those who like to take it slow and enjoy a more relaxed pace while travelling into the park, these vessels also feature gangways which allow you to board and exit the boat without even getting your feet wet. Abel Tasman Sea Shuttles offer cruises of the whole park, or get on or off along the way at one of the many pick-up/drop-off points to walk a little. Abel Tasman Sea Shuttles depart from the nearby Kaiteriteri Beach, a 20 minute drive from Marahau and also well worth a visit.
Abel Tasman Sea Shuttles
Other activities in the Abel Tasman area
Horse treks are run both around the beautiful Marahau Valley or along the Marahau Beach at low tide and cater to various levels of ability.
Abel Tasman Horse Trekking
Just across the road from us is Dave’s work shop where he crafts beautiful rocking chairs and other wood crafts. He has also set up a great family activity; archery. This will bring out the Robin Hood in kids and adults alike and is great fun. The target wall features various targets including a dragon and Dave has beautifully hand crafted bows to suit both child and adult sizes.
Mountain Biking / Bike Trails
Kaiteriteri Mountain Bike Park and a link to the Tasman Great Taste Trail are just over the hill in Kaiteriteri. There are a number of options if you want to get out an about on two wheels. The 180ha mountain bike park is situated in native bush just outside Kateriteri and features well maintained tracks catering to all skill levels.
The Tasman Great Taste Trail is more a leisurely experience which takes you through the Tasman region with both coastal and inland sections, and plenty of vineyards, breweries, fruit orchards and eateries along the way. The entire trail when completed will be a 175km loop, but you can easily opt to do only a section.
Bikes for both these options and other tracks in the region can be hired at Trail Journeys in Kaiteriteri (at Kaiteri Lodge).
One of Marahau’s newest activity is stand-up paddle-boarding, which is fast becoming popular all around New Zealand. Get
Abel Tasman Paddle Boarding
For the adventurous among you, sky diving may be right up your alley! Adrenaline will be at the maximum when jumping out of a plane at between 9,000-16,500ft. Views of the mountains on one side and the golden beaches of the national park on the other will take your breath away. This activity is based in Motueka, but a free shuttle service offers pick ups and drop offs.
Skydive Abel Tasman
Where to eat
As our apartments are equipped with cooking facilities, many people like to cook their own meals. There is a small convenience store located at the Marahau beach front (the Abel Tasman Centre), for small purchases. Though our advice would be to combine a day trip to Motueka with grocery shopping at one of the larger supermarkets in Motueka. This is certainly the more affordable option if doing a large shop.
Marahau also has three establishments for when you want to treat yourself to a night without cooking.
The Park Cafe
A local favourite and situated at the entrance to the national park. Serving delicious breakfast, lunch and dinner options or coffee and scrumptious cakes. The Park Cafe features a delightful design. Beautiful timber structures and furniture, decorated with paintings and carvings from local artists. This place is also the place to go for some Marahau style night life. Live music is a regular feature in the evenings and it’s a great place to enjoy a pint or two while meeting fellow travelers and locals for a fun-filled night!
The Park Cafe
The Fat Tui
This character-filled traditional NZ food cart is another favourite of Marahau locals. It provides super yummy kiwi tucker (NZ food) in an informal outdoor setting. They are open for lunch and dinner every day during peak season. Serving the classic kiwi fish’n’chips as well as their famous burgers amoung other things. Our advice; take some insect repellent (to ward off the sandflies), grab yourself one of their famous scrumptious burgers and give the kumara (sweet potato) fries a try!
Fat Tui – Facebook Page
Located on the Marahau waterfront, Hooked offers great views with your tasty breakfast, lunch and dinner options, which include a selection of fresh seafood dishes as well as coffee and cakes. They also have a Happy Hour from 4-6pm for local wine, beer and cider.