Located on the northern tip of the country’s South Island, this vast national park is a hiker’s dream. Closed to vehicles, one must enter by boat, foot or small plane, but the trip is well worth it. While traversing the mountainous terrain, blue penguins, wekas, oyster catchers, wood pigeons and other rare birds can all be seen. The park was founded in 1942, largely through the efforts of ornithologist and author Perrine Moncrieff to have land reserved for the purpose. It is named after Abel Tasman, who in 1642 became the first European explorer to sight New Zealand.The Abel Tasman Coast Track is a popular tramping track which follows the coastline; while an inland route, the Abel Tasman Inland Track, is less frequented. Kayaking, camping and sightseeing are other activities carried out in the park. Lush forest and golden beaches along the Abel Tasman Coastal track.
Department of Conservation administers the National Park. The Scenic Reserve is administered by the Tasman District Council (TDC) Chief Executive and Department of Conservation’s Nelson/ Marlborough Conservator. Activities in adjoining coastal waters are TDC’s responsibility. These areas operate under separate regulations.
Those who do crave home comforts can stay in luxurious lodges, but sleeping under the stars is regarded as the ultimate way to experience the spirit of the Abel Tasman.