Totaranui early morning

Image: Samuel Mann | Creative Commons


In the heart of the Abel Tasman National Park, this historic building is an ideal base for schools and other groups.

Accommodation overview


  • Boat
  • Vehicle


  • Sole


  • Bookings

Bookings required


  • Heating - wood
  • Kitchen - fully equipped
  • Shower - hot
  • Toilet - flush


  • Bird and wildlife watching
  • Kayaking and canoeing
  • Swimming

About this lodge


An ideal base for schools, youth and educational groups, to enhance learning about the natural environment.

There are educational resources available, a nature study trail nearby and plenty of beach, estuary and bush walks.

The centre is available to other groups when not in use by schools. It is an ideal venue for sports groups, family reunions and celebrations.

The group booking the facilities has exclusive use during the booking period.


The education centre consists of two buildings: an amenities block and the Ngarata Homestead.

  • Sleeps 40 people in 7 bunkrooms of various sizes.
  • Mattresses are provided.
  • Workroom, lounge and two toilets.
  • Heating is by wood fires. Firewood is provided.
  • All water at Tōtaranui is filtered and safe to drink.
  • Fire alarm system with automatic sprinklers.
  • Laundry.
Amenities block
  • Contains a dining room, toilets and showers, pantry, drying room and kitchen.
  • Heating is by a log burner. Firewood is provided.
  • The kitchen is well equipped with two commercial stoves, a coal range, microwave, two fridges and a freezer.
  • Cooking utensils are supplied, including pots and pans.
  • A gas barbecue with gas is supplied.
  • Crockery and cutlery is available.
No rubbish facilities
Pack in, pack out

Be prepared to manage and remove your own rubbish.

You must remove all rubbish and recycling. The nearest transfer station is at 45 Scott Road, off Abel Tasman Drive, 40 minutes from Tōtaranui. 

During peak season food scraps are collected daily from the campsite by staff for composting.

Getting there

Nelson to Tōtaranui is about two and a half hours. Take SH6 south out of Nelson and turn onto SH60 (the Coastal Highway) once past Richmond. Follow SH60 over the Takaka Hill to Takaka.

From Takaka follow signs to Pohara and Tata Beach, which will lead you past the Abel Tasman Memorial and onto Tōtaranui. The last 12 km is a narrow, winding, unsealed road.

Camp gates are locked overnight. Opening times as follows.

  • 1 October to 31 March: 7:30 am to 8:30 pm
  • 1 April to 30 September: 7:30 am to 6:30 pm

There is a seasonal bus service, and daily water taxis from Kaiteriteri, Marahau and many of the beaches in the park. See commercial operators for Abel Tasman National Park.


Fees are charged per person per night or at the minimum charge, whichever charge is greater.

New Zealand school groups

There is a minimum charge of $280 to use the lodge. School bookings are taken two years in advance.

  • Adults (over 18 yrs): $17.00 per night.
  • Children (5-17 yrs): $8.50 per night.

Private groups

There is a minimum charge of $450 to use the lodge. Private bookings are taken one year in advance.

  • Adults (over 18 yrs): $35 per night.
  • Children (5-17 yrs): $17.50 per night.
  • Infants (under 5yrs): Free.


Book by email to Tōtaranui campground. 

Before you book:

  • Read the rules. Rules 3–23 apply to groups using Ngarata Homestead and may affect activities you're planning.
  • The summer school holiday period is balloted. Contact us for details.


  • Bush, native birds, estuary and beach studies.
  • Glow worms, night walks.
  • History study.
  • Bush/survival skills.
  • Swimming and kayaking - the estuary and beach provide opportunities suitable for all ages.

Know before you go

  • Bring one dollar coins for the washing machines.
  • Bring paper and fire starters for the fires.
  • Two public telephones are outside the Tōtaranui camp office.
  • There is limited mobile phone coverage.


Tōtaranui Campground / Totaranui Campground Visitor Centre
Phone:   +64 3 528 8083
Address:   1050 Totaranui Road
Abel Tasman National Park
Postal Address:   PO Box 166
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