The smallest of all the national parks is located at the northern end of the South Island. It is about 1.5 hours from the main centre of Nelson. From Nelson, take State Highway 6 south and take a right turn to follow SH 60 through Motueka to the park. Click on the map for more information.
Abel Tasman NP is famous for its Great Walk, the Abel Tasman Coastal Track. Within the park there are beautiful golden beaches and superb granite cliffs. The park covers 22,500 hectares and has a mild climate. The park was opened in 1942 after a campaign to turn crown land into a park due to concerns over more logging along the coast. The park is named after the Dutch seafarer Abel Tasman, who was the first European to visit Aotearoa. Abel Tasman anchored his ships in the nearby Golden Bay on the 18th of December 1642.
The main attraction of the park is the Coastal track with its secluded beaches and easy track. There are a lot of shoreline campsites which makes the track ideal for kayaking as well as tramping. In fact in recent times it has been noted that there may be more people kayaking the track than walking it. Kayaking gear can be hired locally. There is also a water taxi service available, which drop you off and pick you almost anywhere along the track. This allow you to complete the track as a one-way tramp.
There is a vast range of accommodation in the nearby towns. Motueka provides a vast range of accommodation. There is a basic camp site at Totaranui at the northern end of the Coastal track.
As previously mentioned the main track is the Coastal Track, one of the Great Walks. However not to be forgotten is the Inland Track, an alterative to the Coastal Track, passing through the hilly inland area of the park. Plenty of day walks are available too, and with the water taxi service it is easy to do the first day of the Coastal track and return to the start of the track via water taxi.