South-eastern view from Porter Rock
to Motueka and Tasman Bay
Marahau to Castle Rocks Hut
Time: 5 hr 30 min
Distance: 15.1 km
From Marahau follow the Coast Track to Tinline Bay. Here the Inland Track begins, climbing steadily away from the coast and then steeply through regenerating forest.
After 2 h 30 min Holyoake Clearing is reached, where there is a shelter. Above the clearing the track enters forest and continues climbing to Castle Rocks Hut (8 bunks), perched near rock outcrops with wide views of Marahau Valley and Tasman Bay.
Castle Rocks Hut to Awapoto Hut
Time: 6 hr
Distance: 13 km
Inland Track along Evans Ridge
The track heads northwards from Castle Rocks Hut (8 bunks), then turns west and begins climbing. The gradient steepens and then levels again. The track then undulates for a while before descending to Moa Park Shelter (it’s 2 h, 3.5 km to this point), surrounded by the tussocks of Moa Park itself. There are two side tracks leading to lookouts; Porter Rock is a granite outcrop worth visiting for its excellent views.
From Moa Park Shelter the track crosses a small stream and quickly re-enters the stunted beech forest. Upon reaching Evans Ridge it turns north, beginning a gradual descent to Awapoto Hut (12 bunks).
Awapoto Hut to Pigeon Saddle
Time: 3 hr
Distance: 5 km
Beyond Awapoto Hut (12 bunks) the track steepens then eases again before finally descending steeply to the road at Pigeon Saddle.
Pigeon Saddle to Wainui carpark
Time: 2 hr 25 min
Distance: 8 km
The track climbs slightly, passing a turn-off to a good viewpoint. Travel is then fairly level to the short climb up Gibbs Hill. Beyond Gibbs Hill are the best views in the whole park as the track descends, steeply at first, to the saddle on the Wainui–Whariwharangi section of the Abel Tasman Coast Track. At this saddle, the track forks and an easy 45-minute descent begins to the Wainui car park.
The Inland Track has road access at several points:
Marahau, the southern gateway, is 67 km from Nelson.
Canaan, turn off State Highway 60 on the Takaka Hill onto Canaan Road and follow the unsealed road for 11 km to the car park.
To reach the northern end or Pigeon Saddle (on the Totaranui Road), follow State Highway 60 over Takaka Hill to Takaka (107 km from Nelson). Turn right upon entering Takaka; from there it is 23 km to Wainui car park, 24 km to Pigeon Saddle and 32 km to Totaranui.
The last 12 km to Totaranui is narrow and winding — care is required.
Regular high season bus services provide access to Marahau, Totaranui, Pigeon Saddle and Wainui.
On-demand transport services are available at Motueka and Takaka.
Boat services from Kaiteriteri and Marahau provide access to Totaranui.
Places to stay
A Backcountry Hut Pass or Backcountry Hut Tickets are required to stay in the huts along or near the track. These must be purchased before you begin your trip and are available from DOC offices, visitor centres and some sports shops throughout New Zealand. Heating is provided in the huts, but there are no cooking facilities. Use only dead firewood and carry your own cooking equipment.
About the area
The 41.1 km Inland Track links Marahau to Wainui Bay via Pigeon Saddle on the Takaka –Totaranui Road. The tramp takes three days and passes through a range of regenerating and undisturbed forest types between sea level and the roof of the park, Evans Ridge. Occasional granite outcrops offer good views while the Moa Park moorlands and unusual Canaan landscape provides an interesting interlude.
The track is classified as a tramping track. There are two huts and two shelters on the track. The track can be linked with the Abel Tasman Coast Track or water taxi to make a varied round trip. If you choose to stay at any of the huts or campsites on the Abel Tasman Coast Track, Great Walk you must make a hut or campsite booking.
Plan and prepare
- Safety: Weather in Abel Tasman National Park is generally mild but you should be prepared for high winds and heavy rain and carry spare warm clothes all year. Snow falls occasionally around Moa Park and upper Evans Ridge. Please use the visitor books in the huts. Always tell someone where you are going. Remember your safety is your responsibility.
- Flooding: In normal flows unbridged streams are easily crossed, however in flood they can become impassable and you will need to be prepared to wait until floodwaters recede.
- Wasps are a known hazard and are particularly common from December until April. Carry antihistamine if you are allergic to their stings.
- Dogs are not allowed in the national park.
- Fires are only allowed in fireplaces at huts. Use only dead wood.
- Rubbish: No rubbish facilities are provided; all rubbish must be carried out of the park.
- Giardia: Giardia has been found in some park waters. It can be removed from drinking water by boiling, chemical treatment or filtering.
- Water: There are few reliable water sources along the Inland Track, particularly along Evans Ridge and between Tinline Bay and Holyoake’s Clearing. Carry your own water supply.
Inland Track brochure (PDF, 1.060K)
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