Camping spaces have opened at Totaranui campground over Christmas - New Year and the rest of summer, for people wanting to get a much sought-after camping spot at the highly popular Abel Tasman National Park campground.
Abel Tasman’s southern Coast Track and bays, from Marahau to Awaroa, are also open for summer holidaymakers to enjoy its scenic coastline of bush, golden-sanded beaches and translucent sea. It includes huts and campsites at Anchorage, Bark Bay and Awaroa and other campsites in this southern part of the national park.
Kayak, water taxi and boat trips can still be made along the park’s coastline.
Totaranui campground is open with all services available, including drinking water and toilets, and can be accessed by boat. Abel Tasman water transport operators are offering special services to ferry campers and their gear to and from Totaranui, departing from Kaiteriteri, Marahau and Tarakohe. Information can be found on operators’ websites and they should be contacted directly for more details and bookings.
Camping sites are so sought after at the beachside Totaranui holiday spot that a ballot of applications is held each year to select those who will get a place. Camping spaces have opened up due to some bookings being cancelled, following the closure of the road to Totaranui for three months because of slips caused by high rainfall in Nelson-Tasman last week. The road to Awaroa is also expected to be closed for three months.
Anyone wanting to book a camping holiday at Totaranui, on a first-in basis, should contact the camp office, phone +64 3 528 8083 or email email@example.com.
Department of Conservation Golden Bay Area Manager John Mason said while some people booked to camp at Totaranui had cancelled their bookings due to the road closure, others were calling to confirm they were still coming.
‘It’s unfortunate some who had planned camping holidays at Totaranui have had the disappointment of having to cancel their bookings. But it does open up the chance for others to book sites and enjoy a summer holiday in this popular camping spot.
‘We’re grateful to Abel Tasman water transport operators for putting on services for campers to get to and from Totaranui with their gear.’
DOC staff are continuing to work to clear slips on the northern part of the Abel Tasman Coast Track, from Awaroa through to Wainui.
Mr Mason said the aim was to reopen the track between Awaroa and Totaranui tomorrow afternoon (Thursday 22 December). The track from Totaranui to Wainui has damage and is still to be cleared and should only be attempted by experienced and well-equipped walkers.
Road access though to the Wainui end of the track is restricted to residents and emergency services only between Tata and Wainui.
A temporary track created around a lengthy slip between Onetahuti and Tonga Quarry is particularly difficult and is not recommended for day walkers. This section of track is steep and tramping boots should be worn. It can be bypassed by water taxi.
Waiharakeke campsite, south of Totaranui, is open but with boat access only. Whariwharangi Hut and campsite and Anapai campsite are closed until at least 15 January. Mutton Cove campsite is expected to reopen this Friday, 23 December.
The Department of Conservation is recommending people check with DOC visitor centres in Nelson and St Arnaud, DOC offices and i-SITEs in the region and the DOC website to get up to date information on tracks and conditions in conservation areas.