Kayaking is a popular activity in the Abel Tasman Coast Track area.
For people who haven’t kayaked before, a guided trip is recommended. If you are renting a kayak or going on a guided trip, discuss your kayak trip with your chosen kayak operator before booking huts or campsites.
For independent kayak rentals, a minimum of two people and previous sea-kayaking experience are essential.
Kayaking is more weather dependent than walking along the Coast Track, so you are advised to:
- Book campsites that are within your kayaking ability and plan for the worst weather - head winds and rough seas. Then, if the weather makes kayaking slow you will still get to your campsite. If the weather is fine and there is a tail wind, you can always kayak to your campsite, set up your tent and then go exploring with your kayak without your overnight gear.
- Assess your fitness, the wind strength and direction and sea swell before proceeding each day. If the weather is too rough to safely kayak to your intended destination (the campsite you have booked), stop and wait for a few hours for sea conditions to improve. It is only permissible to camp at a campsite other than the one you have booked for safety reasons.
Never risk your life by kayaking in dangerous seas
Kayaking is not recommended north of Onetahuti Bay due to the remote and exposed coastline.
Approximate paddling times for experienced kayakers in calm conditions without stops are:
- Marahau to Anchorage 4 hr
- Anchorage to Bark Bay 2 hr
- Bark Bay to Onetahuti 1 hr 30 min