Morning mist gently lies on the still waters of the bay that stretches out towards Tasman Bay. As the sun rises activity begins, early morning kayakers depart, oars seamlessly dipping in and out of the sea. Walkers enjoy a leisurely stroll to the southern end of the Abel Tasman Coastal Track, while others simply take in the serenity of the place with a freshly-made coffee in hand.
This is Mārahau, one of two beautiful stepping-off points for the Abel Tasman National Park.
Access to the Park couldn’t be easier. Water taxis, larger boats, eco tours and sea kayak companies depart from here to take you into the park itself, or, if you prefer to keep your feet firmly planted on the ground, you can also begin your walk on the Abel Tasman Coastal Track here. It may be only minutes from the start of the track but Mārahau retains the charm and relaxed feeling of a private sanctuary, as if it’s been waiting just for you.
Whether you’re looking for a long or a short stay, Mārahau accommodation includes award-winning lodges, motels, and a motor camp, all of which are the perfect places to sit back, relax, and enjoy the stunning natural landscapes at any time of the year. Here, golden sandy beaches, a tidal estuary and blue-green waters lay before you, and they're all only minutes from your doorstep.
The Māori meaning of the name Mārahau is 'windy garden', suggesting it was once the site of growing crops, and it still carries an aura of natural abundance today. Mārahau restaurants and cafes are highly regarded for their excellent food, connection with the land and sea, and the warm welcome that they give to visitors. Here, you can sing karaoke at the cafe, savour local beer at the waterfront beer garden, and dive into some of the best burgers in New Zealand being served from a caravan.
Activities on the water are popular here, and with one of the largest tidal ranges in New Zealand it’s perfect for horse riding, investigating tidal pools, and photography at low tide. Mārahau’s natural beauty features in many treasured photo albums, and it really does take your breath away.