Sandwiched in between the Golden and Tasman Bays towards South Island’s northern tip lies New Zealand’s smallest national park. While Abel Tasman National Park measures the smallest in terms of square acreage, the park is also one of the country’s most visited tourist destinations and in fact, is New Zealand’s most visited national parks. This is a result of how accessible Abel Tasman National Park is to most visitors. The closest towns to Abel Tasman National Park are the towns of Motueka, Takaka and Kaiteriteri. Water taxis and on-demand shuttle bus services also ply the route from these nearby towns towards the national park.
Sprawling over 22,530 hectares, the national park traverses golden coastline, winding ridges, blue lagoons and waterbodies, and forested reserves. Its wide variety of landscapes make it a favourite amongst travellers looking for a bit of diversity in their adventures. Abel Tasman National Park dexterously combines a sunny beach vacation with a rugged jungle hike and ensures there’s something for everyone involved. Abel Tasman National Park is the only place that allows visitors to go from a humid jungle trek, to a breath-taking ridge climb, to a sandy beach, and then even into the water using a kayak. The waters inside the national park can be explored through a few modes of transport, namely; cruise boat, kayak, stand up paddleboard, or by simply swimming through the water.
The surrounding forests are full of life that is endemic to this region and wildlife enthusiasts are sure to have a blast exploring the forests, alive with the calls of the Tui and the bellbirds. Gannets, seals, and sometimes even blue penguins are regular visitors of the park and can be spotted quite easily. The park is also a regular destination for those that enjoy going on long hikes or walks and part of the park is also included as one of the Department of Conservation’s designated ‘Great Walks’. It is important to note that the national park does not have many amenities beyond campsites to facilitate the needs of the visitor and park goers should be prepared to bring what they need with them.
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