Located in Abel Tasman National Park in the Nelson/Tasman region
IntroductionInland Track travels through regenerating and undisturbed forest where tui, bellbirds and other wildlife can be seen. Occasional granite outcrops offer excellent views of the coast.
The Inland Track links Marahau to Wainui Bay via Pigeon Saddle on the Takaka - Tōtaranui Road.
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.
Marahau to Castle Rock 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 Rock Hut, perched near rock outcrops with wide views of Marahau Valley and Tasman Bay/Te Tai-o-Aorere.
Castle Rock Hut
Castle Rock Hut to Awapoto Hut
Time: 6 hr
Distance: 13 km
The track heads northwards from Castle Rock Hut, 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.
Awapoto Hut to Pigeon Saddle
Time: 3 hr
Distance: 5 km
Beyond Awapoto Hut 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 Tōtaranui 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 Tōtaranui.
The last 12 km to Tōtaranui is narrow and winding - care is required.
Regular high season bus services provide access to Marahau, Tōtaranui, Pigeon Saddle and Wainui.
On-demand transport services are available at Motueka and Takaka.
Boat services from Kaiteriteri and Marahau provide access to Tōtaranui.
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.
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.
Rivers and streams
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.
Stay safe when crossing rivers
If you plan to cross unbridged rivers, know how to cross safely and be prepared for if you cannot cross.
Do not cross if the river is flooded, you cannot find safe entry and exit points or are unsure it’s safe. Turn back or wait for the river to drop - which often takes a few hours after rain.
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.
Be aware Giardia has been found in some park waters. It can be removed from drinking water by boiling, chemical treatment or filtering.
Wasps are a known hazard and are particularly common from December until April. Carry antihistamine if you are allergic to their stings.
The track 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.
Stay safe in the outdoors
- Take the right gear for your trip: Walking and tramping gear lists.
- Tell a trusted person your plans and when to raise the alarm if you haven’t returned. Send them the information directly, or use the Outdoor Intentions form or Plan My Walk.
- Follow the five essential steps of the Land Safety Code.
|Whakatū / Nelson Visitor Centre|
|Phone:||+64 3 546 9339|
|Fax:||+64 4 471 1117|
Millers Acre/Taha o te Awa
79 Trafalgar Street
Private Bag 5
|Full office details|
|Motueka i-SITE Visitor Information Centre|
|Phone:||+64 3 528 6543|
20 Wallace Street
|Full office details|