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Track description

Abel Tasman Coast Track trip information sheet and map (PDF, 1,222K)

Marahau to Anchorage

Time: 4 hr
Distance: 12.4 km

French names left by d’Urville and his crew Adele, Simonet and Torrent add character to this part of the journey. At the Marahau information kiosk, a causeway crosses the estuary. On the far side of the estuary the track passes through open country to Tinline Bay.

The track rounds Guilbert Point to Apple Tree Bay then passes through beech forest with large kanuka trees. After Yellow Point it turns inland, winding in and out of several little gullies before emerging in open country overlooking Torrent Bay and the coast and islands to the north.

Descend to Anchorage Bay where there is a hut and campsite. 

Anchorage to Bark Bay

High tide track
4 hr
Distance: 11.5 km

Low tide crossing, Torrent Bay estuary
3 hr
Distance: 8.4 km

 Bridge between Torrent Bay and Bark Bay. Photo: Markus Baumann.
Bridge between Torrent Bay and Bark

From Anchorage Bay, cross a low ridge to Torrent Bay estuary. The estuary can be crossed within two hours either side of low tide, or an all-tide track leads around it to Torrent Bay. Keep to the public track through the private houses here.

At the northern end of Torrent Bay beach the track climbs steadily and then sidles around two valleys and above a beautiful inlet to Falls River, the biggest in the park, which is crossed by a 47 m suspension bridge. Beyond the river, the track meanders through lush coastal forest before dropping back to the sea. Follow the track to the hut and campsite beside Bark Bay estuary.

Bark Bay to Awaroa

Time: 4 hr 30 min
Distance: 13.5 km

Cross Bark Bay estuary or follow the all-tide track around its edge and climb steeply to a saddle. Here you lose all sense of the sea below as you journey through stands of manuka.

Return to the shore at Tonga Quarry, where blocks of granite remain from an old quarrying operation. Tonga Island sits offshore surrounded by marine reserve. A short distance on is Onetahuti Bay. A bridge and boardwalk (opened November 2013) provides an all tide crossing. The track then climbs over Tonga Saddle and descends to Awaroa Inlet. Follow the shore for 15 minutes to Awaroa Hut and campsite.

Visitors reaching Venture Creek on the Awaroa Estuary from the South may find the beach route round to Awaroa Hut impassable at times when there is a very high tide. If this happens then visitors should wait at Venture Creek until the tide recedes to reveal the beach route.

Awaroa to Totaranui

Time: 2 hr 20 min
Distance: 7.1 km (tidal)

 Awaroa tidal crossing at low tide. Photo: Markus Baumann.
Awaroa tidal crossing at low tide

Awaroa Estuary can only be crossed close to low tide. The estuary should only be crossed within one and a half hours before and two hours after low tide. (Following very heavy rain the estuary may be impassable.) From its northern side the track crosses a low saddle and drops to Waiharakeke Bay, where a timber mill once operated.

The track re-enters the forest then emerges at Goat Bay, from where it climbs steeply to a lookout above Skinner Point before descending to Totaranui. Follow the road through the main camping ground to the camp office, water taxi pickup point and Coast Track walkers campsite.

Totaranui to Whariwharangi

Time: 3 hr 15 min
Distance: 9.8 km

The track heads around Totaranui estuary, climbs over a low saddle and winds down through lush forest to Anapai Bay. From here to Mutton Cove, travel alternates between sandy beaches and rocky headlands of regenerating kanuka.

Leave the coast at Mutton Cove and climb to another saddle. From here the track descends to Whariwharangi Bay. The hut—a restored farm homestead—and campsite are just behind the beach. Add 1 hour to go via Separation Point. (See side trips).

Whariwharangi to Wainui

Time: 2 hr
Distance: 5.7 km

From Whariwharangi Hut follow a small stream then climb out of the bay to a saddle overlooking Wainui Inlet. The track winds down to the shore around gorse-covered ridges recovering from a 1978 fire, then follows the estuary edge for 500 metres to the carpark. It is possible to cross Wainui Inlet within two hours either side of low tide.

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Follow the Outdoor Safety Code:
1. Plan your trip
2. Tell someone
3. Be aware of the weather
4. Know your limits
5. Take sufficient supplies

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