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Abel Tasman Great Walk, where to camp & short day walks

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Great Walks of Aotearoa New Zealand. Abel Tasman is a premier Great Walk trail in New Zealand. The joy of picking off sections of the trail and boating into your camp for the night is the stuff of holiday dreams.

Abel Tasman National Park is the perfect place to practise your camping skills. There are nearby cafes for a coffee fix, access to well resourced water transport operators and the glories of the Abel Tasman National Park to wake up to.

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For an overview of the Abel Tasman National Park things to do, attractions & places to go. Abel Tasman National Park is administered and managed by the NZ Department of Conservation. Department of Conservation links include booking information, getting there and a full description of the facilities.

The Great Walk, Abel Tasman National Park is unmissable. Abel Tasman is New Zealand’s miniature park.

Undoubtedly the Abel Tasman National Park is a star with global appeal due to glittering gold sandy beaches, shallow turquoise water, gloriously accessible tracks through native bush reserves. The icing on the natural splendour is the proximity of the urban delights of Nelson and nearby villages.

What is the best time to visit the Abel Tasman National Park?

The best time to visit the Abel Tasman National Park is year round. In winter the coastal Track is lightly populated. Carry layers and it is an excellent time to walk as it is not hot. Summer is the peak season, especially late December to early February. Forward booking is essential to avoid disappointment.

Abel Tasman National Park, New Zealand
Abel Tasman National Park
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Carry sunscreen and insect repellent.

… read more Abel Tasman National Park things to do, attractions & places to go.

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Travelling with kids?

The beauty of the Abel Tasman is found within and outside the park’s boundaries. Here are  a few shorter walks. Inspiration for the family to lace up the walking boots and get going.

… read more Top 10 short walks in the vicinity of Abel Tasman National Park – Best Bits.

 

DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION CAMPING GROUNDS

Mutton Cove Campsite, Abel Tasman, Nelson, New Zealand @Tramper
Mutton Cove Campsite @Tramper

Walk-in or boat-in to this beachside campsite on the Waiharakeke to Whariwharangi section of the Abel Tasman Coast Track. There is no drive on access.

Walk-in or boat-in to this beachside campsite on the Waiharakeke to Whariwharangi section of the Abel Tasman Coast Track. There is no drive-in access.

Anapai bay campsite, Abel Tasman, Nelson, New Zealand @Sliva
Anapai bay campsite @Sliva
Tōtaranui Campground, Abel Tasman, Nelson, New Zealand @Rankers NZ
Tōtaranui Campground @Rankers NZ

Camp next to the clear waters and golden sands of Tōtaranui beach at the northern end of the Abel Tasman National Park. It’s a great place to relax on the beach, swim, kayak, fish or explore native bush on one of the nearby tracks.

This is a very popular campsite. Follow Department of Conservation regulations to ensure you have a pre-booked site …Passes

The DOC Campsite Pass can be used at this campsite except between 26 December to 8 February inclusive.

Campsite Pass bookings must be booked online before occupying a site. If you do not pre-book, bookings may be made by campground staff (if present) and will incur a $10 service charge.

Walk-in or boat-in to this beachside campsite on the Waiharakeke to Whariwharangi section of the Abel Tasman Coast Track. It is only available for booking for people walking the Coastal Track.

Tōtaranui Great Walk Campsite, Abel Tasman, Nelson, New Zealand @Rankers NZ
Tōtaranui Great Walk Campsite @Rankers NZ
Awaroa Campsite, Abel Tasman, Nelson, New Zealand @Doc
Awaroa Campsite @Doc

Walk-in or boat-in to this campsite on the Mosquito Bay to Awaroa section of the Abel Tasman Coast Track. There is no drive on access.

Walk-in or boat-in to this beachside campsite on the Mosquito Bay to Awaroa section of the Abel Tasman Coast Track. There is no drive on access.

Onetahuti Bay Campsite, Abel Tasman, Nelson, New Zealand @Doc
Onetahuti Bay Campsite @Doc
Bark Bay Campsite, Abel Tasman, Nelson, New Zealand @Auckland i-SITE
Bark Bay Campsite @Auckland i-SITE

Walk-in or boat-in to this beachside campsite on the Torrent Bay Estuary to Bark Bay section of the Abel Tasman Coast Track. There is no drive on access.

Walk-in or boat-in to this beachside campsite on the Tinline to Anchorage section of the Abel Tasman Coast Track. There is no drive on access.

Te Pukatea Bay Campsite, Abel Tasman, Nelson, New Zealand @Auckland i-SITE
Te Pukatea Bay Campsite @Auckland i-SITE
Anchorage Campsite, Abel Tasman, Nelson, New Zealand @Auckland i-SITE
Anchorage Campsite @Auckland i-SITE

Walk-in or boat-in to this beachside campsite on the Tinline to Anchorage section of the Abel Tasman Coast Track. There is no drive on access.

Walk-in or boat-in to this beachside campsite on the Tinline to Anchorage section of the Abel Tasman Coast Track. There is no drive on access.

Watering Cove Campsite, Abel Tasman, Nelson, New Zealand @Auckland i-SITE
Watering Cove Campsite @Auckland i-SITE
Observation Beach Campsite, Abel Tasman, Nelson, New Zealand @Auckland i-SITE
Observation Beach Campsite @Auckland i-SITE

Visit this beachside campsite on the Tinline to Anchorage section of the Abel Tasman Coast Track.

Walk-in or boat-in to this beachside campsite on the Tinline to Anchorage section of the Abel Tasman Coast Track. There is no drive on access.

Akersten Bay Campsite, Abel Tasman, Nelson, New Zealand @Auckland i-SITE
Akersten Bay Campsite @Auckland i-SITE
Apple Tree Bay Campsite, Abel Tasman, Nelson, New Zealand @Auckland i-SITE
Apple Tree Bay Campsite @Auckland i-SITE

Walk-in or boat-in to this beachside campsite on the Tinline to Anchorage section of the Abel Tasman Coast Track. There is no drive on access.

Walk-in or boat-in to this inland campsite on the Tinline to Anchorage section of the Abel Tasman Coast Track. There is no drive on access.

Tinline Campsite, Abel Tasman, Nelson, New Zealand @Auckland i-SITE
Tinline Campsite @Auckland i-SITE
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you camp anywhere in the Abel Tasman National Park?

The Department of Conservation (DOC) has 19 tent sites and four huts spread along the Coast Track. In most places these sites are only a couple of hours easy walk apart so you can make your own decisions about how long you want to walk or kayak before you set up camp.

Where is the best place to go camping in Abel Tasman National Park?

The popular campsites are Marahua, Anchorage which is the first stop after Marahua, Bark Bay with its glorious gold beach setting, Awaroa and Totaranui.

Which vamping grounds have a shower?

Amazingly, there is a shower at Bark Bay. The hut is in an exquisite location. There are two bunk rooms, each sleeping 17 on long sleeping platforms (top and bottom). The toilets are flush. And a shower.

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Go for a dip in the Tasman Sea, it’s warm with gold sand as a natural exfoliate.

Can you kayak to camping grounds in the Abel Tasman National Park?

Kayaking is a popular water transport option for visitors to the Abel Tasman National Park. Contact an authorised tour operator who will arrange delivery and pick up if necessary.

What is the average distance between camping grounds on the Abel Tasman Great Walk?

The average distance between camping grounds in the Abel Tasman National Park is 12 km.

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Short of time, consider a water taxi and explore one section with a delivery and pick up. Enjoy water views of the Abel Tasman National Park and walk through native bush.

 

The Main Campsites within the Abel Tasman National Park

These are the largest sites with drinking water and flushing toilets.

Marahau, New Zealand @Nelson Tasman
Marahau @Nelson Tasman

Marahau

At the end of the road is Marahau, a service village for visitors to the Abel Tasman National Park. A number of tour operators are based out of Marahau. Visitors can organise transport, hire camping gear, pick up a coffee from the cafes, indulge in a shower and relax.

Anchorage

First stop after departing from Marahau. Anchorage is approximately 12.5 km walking distance from Marahau. There is also the Pitt Head Loop trail to check out (a one hour loop side trail).

Anchorage Beach, Abel Tasman National Park, New Zealand @stephentravels
Anchorage Beach @stephentravels
Bark Bay, Abel Tasman, Nelson, New Zealand @Andre Ismael
Bark Bay @Andre Ismael

Bark Bay

The DOC camping ground is perched on the sand spit with ocean virtually surrounding the campsite at high tide. The DOC hut is located near the estuary. Bark Bay is approximately 12 km north of Anchorage.

Awaroa

The DOC camping grounds are set back from the main beach and at the start of the Awaroa inlet. Remember you need LOW TIDE to attempt the beach trail. Awaroa is 13 km walking distance from Bark Bay.

Awaroa Bay, New Zealand @bayleys
Awaroa Bay @bayleys
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CHECK Tide tables: Abel Tasman Coast Track.

Beach @Totaranui Camping ground, New Zealand
@Totaranui Camping ground, New Zealand

Totaranui

This is a very large camp ground with 269 non-powered/tent sites. Tōtaranui is a large campground catering for up to 850 people. Sites are across the camp road from the Tōtaranui beach, and alongside the estuary. Camping on the beach side of the camp road for Abel Tasman Coast Track walkers only. The campground is divided into 23 zones separated by shelter belts, with six modern amenities blocks spread throughout. Tōtaranui ‘Ngarata Homestead functions as an education centre and may be booked for private stays when not used by school groups. Rules for Tōtaranui Campground.

Nearby is the Gibbs Hill Track. The camp grounds are a popular end or start for the Abel Tasman Great Walk. Totaranui is just 7km from Awaroa.

Make a Booking

Doc Sites

The best place to book any of these campsites is through the DOC Website.

Book DOC Campsites

 

FOR MORE ACCOMMODATION OPTIONS IN ABEL TASMAN NATIONAL PARK CHECK OUT

 

BEST BITS TRAVEL GUIDE

Best Bits travel guide is published by nzjane.com. Owned and managed by PacificJane Ltd.

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