In January 2012, Stephanie and I went sea kayaking in the Abel Tasman National Park, South Island, New Zealand. We did a package tour with The Sea Kayak Company, who arranged three days paddling, two nights accommodation (camping in tents on the beach), with all gear and food provided. It was an excellent service, costing just over NZ$550/person which I thought was great value. It was no hardship, with paddling for an hour or so at a time, at a leisurely pace with plenty of stops to explore or relax on the pristine white sand beaches. It is a beautiful stretch of rocky and sandy coastline, with native forest, gorgeous estuaries and an abundance of wildlife including birds and seals with their young pups from the end of December onward. I highly recommend it and will let our photo’s below describe the beauty!
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Abel Tasman National Park is located at the Northern tip of the South Island of New Zealand (shaded brown in this photo). The gateway town is Motueka.
Map of the Abel Tasman National park coastline in New Zealand. (Image courtesy of The Sea Kayak company)
Day 1 – with the kayaks at the office of ‘The Sea Kayak company’
We drove 20 minutes to Marahau bay then took a water taxi.
Stephanie packs our kayak in the morning.
Our guide Kim, she was fantastic!
Paddling on flat water in the morning. The wind always gets up from 11AM onwards and it gets rougher in the afternoon.
Having a snooze on the beach during a break.
Stephanie enjoying the scenery during the morning paddle.
One of the beautiful streams we stopped at and wandered up to explore.
Stephanie cooks dinner at the campsite.
Dusk falls over our kayaks lying on the beach. Tonga Island in the distance.
Heading out to Tonga Island. This is marine reserve and a favorite breeding ground for seals.
Getting closer to Tonga Island.
Lunch on an unnamed beach together with 2 seals.
The seals are very trusting and like to lie and sleep.
Paddling into another beautiful estuary.
Stephanie explores a beautiful estuary at low tide on foot.
The seaweed in the rivers is beautiful and soft on your feet
Paddling in the afternoon is always a little rougher than in the morning as the wind picks up.
A panorama of Waiharakeke bay – our finish point. We took the water taxi from here back to Marahau.