The Abel Tasman National Park is undoubtedly one of the region’s most treasured attractions, offering a range of stunning natural landscapes to explore; from the turquoise blue waters, to the golden sandy beaches, to the sweeping granite coastline, and the lush native bush. Abel Tasman Coast Track can be accessed from the nearby town of Marahau, or you can venture out from Kaiteriteri on a scenic cruise or kayaking trip to access the track from other points in the park. The park is best experienced on a multi-day adventure that will see you staying overnight at one of the beachfront lodges, camp sites, DOC huts or even the floating backpackers, before continuing on with your scenic walk, kayak, cruise, or flight the next day. For those who are looking for a slice of paradise, but don’t quite have time for a multi-day experience, there are plenty of half and full day sightseeing options available.
You’ll never be short of picturesque beaches to choose from in the Abel Tasman, and the golden sands of Kaiteriteri could quite possibly rival the recognised wonders of the world. The result of the weathering of ancient granite rocks, crystals of quartz and mica are released out to sea, where the finely ground glittering golden sand particles are washed up to shore to form the idyllic Kaiteriteri Beach. The perfect place to lay back and relax all year round, the feeling of golden sand between your toes and the sea breeze in your hair is truly extraordinary.
The curved crescent shape of Kaiteriteri Bay makes it perfect for a kayaking or paddle boarding adventure. Sheltered from the elements, the water is naturally calm, and there are plenty of nearby coves and arches to explore. At certain times of the day when the tide is retreating, you can even paddle across the lagoon to your own little private stretch of sand (but make sure you venture back before the tide begins to rise again).
Explore the secluded hideaways and stunning golden beaches of the Abel Tasman National Park, watch the playful seal pups rolling through the water at Tonga Island Marine Reserve, and hear the stories of the parks iconic landmarks, all whilst relaxing on board a comfortable sailing catamaran or scenic cruise. Relax as you lay on the bow of the catamaran and close your eyes, listening to the sound of the waves lapping below you, and feeling the gentle rock of the boat as it glides swiftly through the water. Or, ride top deck on your scenic cruise for unparalleled views of the wondrous coastline and a great vantage point for spotting playful wildlife in the ocean below. Top tip: Mix it up a little with one of the half day cruise/walk or cruise/kayak options, and see the beauty of the park from a different perspective.
The Kaiteriteri Mountain Bike Park is one of New Zealand’s premier mountain biking locations, and it’s easy to see why. Built by riders, for riders, the park is nestled amongst native bush and hilly terrain, forming the backdrop to the stunning Kaiteriteri Beach. With more than 25 diverse trails to sink your wheels into, there truly is something for everyone, from smooth and gentle beginner tracks to challenging switchbacks and swift descents. Climb up Tank and shoot down Scoot before hitting the zippy switchbacks of Swish, or loop around the gently undulating track of Cruise Control. If you’re looking for a challenge, shred your wheels on the downhill descent from Jaws, battle the steep ascent of Flamin’ Nora and feel the loss of gravity with Big Airs.
Share in New Zealand’s treasured heritage by paddling in a double or single hulled waka (Māori canoe) along the length of the stunning Abel Tasman coastline, weaving around islands and iconic landforms until you reach Split Apple Rock. The manaakitanga of your guides will be sure to provide you with a unique cultural experience unlike any you’ve ever been a part of before, as your paddle glides through the crystal-clear waters below, and you listen to the extraordinary stories of Abel Tasman’s history.
Although the Abel Tasman Coastal Track is unprecedented in terms of it’s beauty, there are a number of short walks in the area that offer stunning views out over Tasman Bay and into the secluded hideaways along the parks sweeping coastline. At the northern end of the main beach you’ll find Kaka Pah Point walk, whilst on the other side you can take a short stroll up and over to Little Kaiteriteri, a much quieter (but just as beautiful) hideaway. Just behind the campground is Withell’s Walk, which will take you on a 45-minute walk through lush native bush, treating you to a double course of birdsong and panoramic vistas.
If you’re looking for some relaxation and rejuvenation, Kaiteriteri is the place for you. Famed not only for its golden sands and relaxed holiday vibe, just a few minutes away from the main beach is a luxury eco resort. Here you’ll find the definition of paradise; heated indoor and outdoor swimming pools, spa pools, a sauna, steam room, a vegetarian restaurant, and a selection of massage and pampering services, nestled in the lush native bush and offering expansive views over Kaiteriteri Beach. What more could you ask for?
We promise we’re not biased when we say there’s no better place to experience an early morning sunrise or evening sunset than in Kaiteriteri, gateway to the Abel Tasman National Park. Watching the sun rays as they make their first appearance, dashing over the golden sands and reflecting off the glistening waters ahead is the perfect way to start your day. And watching from the balcony with a glass of wine in hand as they recede into the horizon at night, forming a stunning backdrop of violet and orange hues, is the perfect way to end it.
The 174km long Tasman’s Great Taste Trail is a scenic cycle trail that will take you on a leisurely tour of the region’s most beautiful coastal and inland areas, passing breweries, vineyards, orchards, artists and artisans on the way. The trip from the vibrant town of Motueka to the scenic paradise of Kaiteriteri can be completed as part of the overall journey, or simply as a short afternoon ride in itself. Plus, what better way to end a cycling trip than with a cool drink at the waterfront restaurant, or with a quick dip in the crystal-clear waters of the Kaiteriteri lagoon (or both).