Kayak is undoubtedly the other great activity in Abel Tasman National Park. It allows you to enjoy some coves that are not accessible in any other way, as well as visit Adele or Fisherman Islands and approach Tonga Island, where there is a seal breeding colony (landing is not allowed). It is likely that we may also see dolphins, which sometimes approach kayaks and other boats.
It is not recommended to go further north of Onetahuti Bay since the area is very remote and exposed to the ocean. The approximate rowing times for advanced rowers in good weather conditions and without stopping are:
- Marahau to Anchorage 4 hr.
- Anchorage to Bark Bay 2 hr.
- Bark Bay to Onetahuti 1 hr 30 min.
There are multiple operators that offer kayak rentals from one to 5 days, with prices starting at NZ $ 85, as well as guided tours for those who are inexperienced. Most offer the possibility of taking the kayak in one area and leaving it in another to hike back the Coastal Track. The main ones are Wilsons, Kahu Kayaks, Marahau Sea Kayaks, Abel Tasman Kayaks or Kaiteriteri Kayaks.
Gibbs Hill Track is the only section suitable for bicycles, taking about 2 hours, but is only allowed in winter, from April 1 to October 1. There are abundant thorns, it is recommended to carry equipment to fix our wheels.
Rameka Track, to the west of the park, it is being prepared for mountain bike use and is already partially open.
Curiously enough, the park has 3 hunting reserves, where it is allowed to hunt deer, wild boar and goats, all animals introduced and used largely as a source of food, since before Europeans arrived in the country there was no mammals apart from marine and bats. Of course you have to have a hunting license and request a permit from New Zealand Parks Conservation Department. Licensed hunting dogs are the only ones that can enter the park, that must be requested from Golden Bay Area Office.
The north reserve is near Awaroa, and the south near Tataka / Dry River, with another smaller section further south.
The first thing is to remember that free camping is not allowed in New Zealand. Some decide to visit Abel Tasman for the simple pleasure of camping, moving from one camp to another by water taxi or road in the case of Totaranui or Awaroa.
There are 18 campsites and 7 huts/shelters. 3 of the shelters are on the Inland Track and do not require a reservation, first come first served, but the 18 campsites and the other 4 huts are along the Coastal Track, so they are very busy, and always always, even in the middle of winter, even if there is no one else at the campsite, you must book on the official Great Walks website, exact dates and campsites. Those who arrive without a reservation, or stop at one of those where they had not booked, will be charged a surcharge or asked to leave the park.
- In high season a maximum of 2 nights is allowed in the same place, except Totaranui that only allows one night. In the low season a maximum of 5 nights per camping is allowed.
- Prices per person and night range from NZ $ 75 in the shelter for foreigners (NZ $ 38 New Zealanders) in high season to NZ $ 15 per adult in tent in low season.
- All have rainwater tanks that are drinkable, although not treated, so it is advisable to bring means to purify it (pills, filters or boil it).
- The toilets have rainwater cistern, not so in the 3 shelters of the Inland Track.
- The shelters have heating.
- There are no showers.
- In most there are no cooking facilities.
- It is not allowed to make fire but gas stoves are.
- They do not provide food.
- Hanging hammocks is not allowed, as most of the trees are weak.