Your safety is your responsibility. To have a great time in the outdoors, know before you go the five simple rules of the Outdoor Safety Code to help you stay safe:
- Plan your trip
- Tell someone
- Be aware of the weather
- Know your limits
- Take sufficient supplies
1. Plan your trip
Be sure to consult a tide timetable when planning your trip as the Awaroa estuary area on the track is only passable at low tide.
The Nelson/Marlborough track update has the latest information on the Abel Tasman Coast Track. It is updated weekly in summer and monthly in winter.
See track updates at the visitor centre notice-boards. Check with visitor centres for the Important Notices to Visitors, which report closures or maintenance on huts, campsites, roads and tracks.
The Coast Track is open all year. Transport, activity, equipment and accommodation operators are available year round.
All huts and campsites must be booked all year round. See booking information for details.
Chart showing walker numbers peaking between December and March
The chart (at the right) shows the number of walkers on the track between Torrent Bay and Bark Bay. Numbers peak in January with over 250 per day and drop in August to less than 25.
In peak season (October to April), DOC hut wardens and staff are based at the huts and Totaranui Camp Office.
In winter, wardens rotate among the huts.
The advantages of visiting the Abel Tasman Coast in the winter include fewer visitors, calmer water, less water traffic such as water-skiers, and hardly any insects.
The main disadvantages are the shorter daylight hours and cooler temperatures.
In case of any accident or injury that requires emergency evacuation, contact Police Search and Rescue via Department of Conservation staff or boat transport staff radios.
In the unusual situation of the track being closed (e.g. in case of extreme fire risk), signs will be erected at track entrances and information will be at i-SITES, DOC information centres and on the DOC website. Check the Track Update before you start the track. If the track is closed, a full refund will be given.
2. Tell someone
Before you go into the outdoors, tell someone your plans and leave a date to raise the alarm if you haven't returned. To do this, use the New Zealand Outdoors Intentions process on the AdventureSmart website. It is endorsed by New Zealand's search and rescue agencies and provides three simple options to tell someone you trust the details about your trip.
Fill in the visitors book if you are staying in a hut.
3. Be aware of the weather
The climate is mild with sea breezes, summer droughts and some winter frosts. Rainfall averages 1800mm and the sun shines around 2200 hours per year. During late spring and throughout summer the coast is subject to strong westerly winds, while the autumn and winter months are generally calm.
Weather information at Totaranui
| ||Max temp ˚C||Min temp ˚C||Rainy days
The Abel Tasman Coast Track can be walked all year but in winter temperatures are cooler. All huts have heating. Campsites that get good afternoon sun are Anchorage, Bark Bay, Mosquito Bay, Awaroa and Totaranui.
4. Know your limits
Challenge yourself within your physical limits and experience.
5. Take sufficient supplies
For a full list check 'What to take'
Cookers and lighting
- Cookers and lighting are not provided in any of the huts.
- If you are allergic to wasp stings, take your medication, such as antihistamines, with you.
- Sandflies are tiny black insects which cause itchy bites.
- Bring and use insect repellent.
The use of hammocks, including "tree hugger" hammocks, is not permitted in campsites on the Abel Tasman Coast Track. Not all campsites have convenient trees to use as the campsites have been designed for placing tents, not hammocks.