One Day Hiking Guide to Abel Tasman National Park - How to Hike Parts of the Abel Tasman Great Walk, New Zealand

One Day Hiking Guide to Abel Tasman National Park

How to Hike Parts of the Abel Tasman Great Walk, New Zealand

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The Abel Tasman, the smallest national park in New Zealand does pack quite a punch for adventurers. After several days of resting, it was time for me to go on another adventure. The Abel Tasman great walk is around circuit track that requires 3 - 4 days to complete and since I was under the time constraint of 5 weeks, I decided to do part of it via the Aqua Taxi service.

The other reason why I chose to do part of the track was that I came from Thailand, a tropical country full of beautiful beaches, and I thought I would not be impressed as much with the beaches here in New Zealand. Oh how I was wrong.

Looking for a complete itinerary for New Zealand? A Month In New Zealand On A Budget.

New Zealand Travel Video

The Kiwiland from Pete R. on Vimeo

Where to Stay in Motueka

Motueka: Hotel YHA Motueka / Laughing Kiwi Backpackers: 28.00 NZD/night

Getting to the Abel Tasman National Park via AquaTaxi

 Day 12: The Abel Tasman

I woke up early in the morning, packed all my gears (food and 3 litres of water) and got picked up by the AquaTaxi for the Abel Tasman, a service I bought the previous day.

I bought the AquaTaxi’s Seals and Sand service for 75 NZD which included a pickup from the hostel to Marahau, an AquaTaxi to Torrent Bay, and then walk on foot along the coast for 4 - 5 hours to Onetahuti Beach

I bought the AquaTaxi’s Seals and Sand service for 75 NZD which included a pickup from the hostel to Marahau, an AquaTaxi to Torrent Bay, and then walk on foot along the coast for 4 - 5 hours to Onetahuti Beach. The AquaTaxi would then pick me up at Onetahuti Beach at around 4PM and drop me off at the hostel. Bascially, everything except the walk were handled by the AquaTaxi.

The good thing about using the AquaTaxi was that they know where things were and they took us to see everything from beautiful rock formations to dolphins, birds and seals

The good thing about using the AquaTaxi was that they know where things were and they took us to see everything from beautiful rock formations to dolphins, birds and seals. This was the first time I saw dolphines truly in the wild!

Hiking the Torrent Bay to Onetahuti Beach Trail

After an hour floating around off-shore, we finally landed at the Torrent Bay

After an hour floating around off-shore, we finally landed at the Torrent Bay. We had to take our shoes off and walked in the extremely cold water to get to the shore. The water was so cold that I could feel the pain radiating from my foot for every step I took in the water. It was so painful!

The walk was nothing compared to the Tongariro crossing

The walk was nothing compared to the Tongariro crossing. Although, they said it was a 3 - 4 hours walk, I did it all in 2, and I wasn’t even rushing. The track consisted of a few small hills and flat terrain most of time. People with no hiking experience could easily accomplish this walk.

With that said, an easy walk like this did allow me to actually enjoy the place more

With that said, an easy walk like this did allow me to actually enjoy the place more.

And the view was as rewarding as all the other walks in New Zealand

And the view was as rewarding as all the other walks in New Zealand. Just breathtaking!

I stopped at this spot for lunch while enjoying the sight of a ridiculously turquoise ocean and a small little island

I stopped at this spot for lunch while enjoying the sight of a ridiculously turquoise ocean and a small little island.

There were several suspension bridges along the track which added a little bit more thrill to the walk

There were several suspension bridges along the track which added a little bit more thrill to the walk.

The color was ridiculous! I have never seen anything like it before

The color was ridiculous! I have never seen anything like it before. The deep turquoise colored ocean was quite a common sight in the Abel Tasman.

If you are going to do the whole walk, you need to study the level of tides at each time of the day since there will be intersections where you will have to decide which way to take according to the tide’s level

If you are going to do the whole walk, you need to study the level of tides at each time of the day since there will be intersections where you will have to decide which way to take according to the tide’s level. Check out their website for updated info.

This is nothing like the ocean I’ve seen back in Thailand

This is nothing like the ocean I’ve seen back in Thailand. We have a paled, light blue colored ocean that doesn’t scream in colors like they did in New Zealand.

As with all the walks in New Zealand, the track had been very well maintained which is always nice especially for walks that we have to put ourselves fully exposed to nature like this

As with all the walks in New Zealand, the track had been very well maintained which is always nice especially for walks that we have to put ourselves fully exposed to nature like this.

After 2 hours of walking very slowly, I arrived at the Onetahuti beach 2 hours earlier than the scheduled pick up time

After 2 hours of walking very slowly, I arrived at the Onetahuti beach 2 hours earlier than the scheduled pick up time.

Since I was a little early, I took the opportunity to walk along this quiet beach, while eating my sandwich like an animal

Since I was a little early, I took the opportunity to walk along this quiet beach, while eating my sandwich like an animal. After all, no one was there to judge me. :)

So this is what an uncommercialized beach looks like

So this is what an uncommercialized beach looks like. Coming from Thailand, where every beaches are squeezed dry for money, the idea of walking on an unspoiled beach like this was foreign to me.

I simply sat there quietly, looking at nothing but nature, listening to the sound of birds and animals

I simply sat there quietly, looking at nothing but nature, listening to the sound of birds and animals. It was truly an out-of-body experience!

Even though, I thought I wouldn’t enjoy the beaches and tropical forest as much, New Zealand has once again proven me wrong

Even though, I thought I wouldn’t enjoy the beaches and tropical forest as much, New Zealand has once again proven me wrong.

Getting Back to Motueka

The water taxi picked me and a few other people up at 4 PM and drove us back to Marahau

The water taxi picked me and a few other people up at 4 PM and drove us back to Marahau.

In between that, they stopped a few times and let us enjoyed the wildlife of New Zealand

In between that, they stopped a few times and let us enjoyed the wildlife of New Zealand.

The AquaTaxi dropped me at the hostel and I crashed right on the spot. It was a fun and tiring day. After experiencing the Abel Tasman, I realized how much effort New Zealand had put into preserving and maintaining the nature they have. I now have a whole new level of respect for them.

Now, that I was warmed up from this episode, next up we will cycle the west coast to Cape Foulwind and climb a glacier in Franz Josef. Stay tuned for more adventure from New Zealand.

Further Reading for Backpacking in New Zealand

I’ve spent 5 weeks backpacking in New Zealand and I have written a ton more about my journey traveling throughout New Zealand from the North Island to the South Island that you might help in your trip planning.

Here’s a selection of articles about New Zealand:

The Solo Traveler’s Journal is a series of posts by BucketListly where we will follow our founder, Pete Rojwongsuriya around the world as he singlehandedly travel alone and experience different cultures, people, and historical locations one country at a time.

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Categories: new zealand destinations hiking oceania


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