Abel Tasman Coastal Trek

  • Abel Tasman - © By Hannah Rogan
  • Abel Tasman - © By Hannah Rogan
  • Abel Tasman - © By Hannah Rogan
  • Abel Tasman - © By Hannah Rogan
  • Abel Tasman - © By Hannah Rogan
  • Abel Tasman - © By Hannah Rogan
  • Abel Tasman - © By Hannah Rogan

Key information: Abel Tasman Coastal Trek

  • An accessible and hugely popular walking track located in the far North East of New Zealand's spectacular South Island.
  • One of the most beautiful tracks in the country (and the competition is hot), the Abel Tasman Coastal Track takes you through lush native bush and fine golden sands lapped by shimmering azure waters.
  • The terrain encountered on this walk is fairly gentle and one could be forgiven for assuming that the guidebooks are allowing too much time for its completion. Be warned though, the route is highly dependant upon the tides, so be prepared to spend time on the beach awaiting suitable tidal conditions before continuing.

Walkopedia rating

  • Walkopedia rating81
  • Beauty32
  • Natural interest15
  • Human interest4
  • Charisma30
  • Negative points0
  • Total rating81
  • Note: Negs: popularity in best weather

Vital Statistics

  • Length: 51km
  • 3-5 days
  • Level of Difficulty: Straightforward
Abel Tasman - © By Hannah Rogan


The Abel Tasman track is arguably the most popular walk in New Zealand, thanks to its un-demanding terrain, clement weather and spectacular views. To walk its 51kms is to follow the footsteps of the Maori (who did little to change the landscape, though they lived there for 500 years before the first Europeans settled in New Zealand) and of Abel Tasman, Dumont dUrville and the consequent European settlers, who ravaged the area with quarrying and deforestation.

It is a far-from-ravaged landscape that greets the visitor today, largely thanks to Perrine Moncrieff, a Nelson conservationist who, concerned at the prospect of logging along the astonishingly beautiful coastline, campaigned to have 15,000 hectares of crown land made into a national park. AbelTasman National Park was opened in 1942 on the 300th anniversary of his visit.

The 54.4km track, which incorporates native forest areas, pristine beaches and panoramic coastal views, takes 3-5 days to complete and can be walked North to South or vice versa. There are huts and campsites along the way to accommodate walkers, but they need to be booked well in advance, especially in high season.
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We have a lot of helpful practical information and tips about this walk, covering everything from the best books and maps, to timing and weather, geting there, possible problems, whether you need a guide and where to find them, and useful websites. This section is only open to members.

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Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and potential problems, and many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks, dangers and problems. Problems of any sort can arise on any walk. This website does not purport to identify any (or all) actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to any particular walk.

Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.

Abel Tasman - ©By Hannah Rogan

share your experiences

Add your experiences, suggestions and photos. We would be delighted to receive your writing and ideas (which will be attributed appropriately where published).

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.

Abel Tasman - ©By Hannah Rogan...

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