New Zealand


Abel Tasman Coast Track

Easy, sunny coastal track with golden sands and excellent swimming. The busiest track in the country, following the length of the national park coastline.

Options for walking are very flexible with boat access to most points on the track and vehicle access at Marahau, Wainui Bay, Awaroa Inlet, and Totaranui. Many people only walk the Marahau-Totaranui section, while others arrange to be dropped off and picked up by boat, and don't walk anywhere at all! Both ends connect with the Abel Tasman Inland Track, making a more challenging circuit of the park possible. It is also possible to walk an easy section of the Inland Track to return from Wainui Bay to Totaranui, if desired. 

Tidal inlets on the track are crossed at two hours either side of low tide. The first is located at Torrent Bay. The high tide track adds an hour's walking. The second is located at Awaroa Inlet, and no alternative route is available. 

Places to stay

Four huts are located on the track, although these are very busy. These are located at Anchorage, Bark Bay, Awaroa, and Whariwharangi Bay. Huts must be booked at all times of year.

18 campsites range from the very large Totaranui to the very small are available from very large to very small Anapai Bay. The main campsites are at Anchorage, Bark Bay, Awaroa, Totaranui, Mutton Cove, and Whariwharangi Bay. These offer better facilities. The smaller campsites offer basic camping and an escape from the crowds. Observation Beach and Mosquito Bay campsites are boat access only and suitable for kayakers exploring the Abel Tasman coastline. Campsites must be booked at all times of year.

Marahau to Anchorage

Hut Anchorage Hut
Great Walks Hut (DOC) (sleeps 34)
Facilities: Tap or tank water, Toilet, Enclosed wood/coal burner
Crossing the estuary of the Marahau River, the track winds along the coastline, passing the end of the Inland Track. The Coastal Track turns briefly inland before dropping to Anchorage Bay. 7 campsites are passed during this section before the hut.

Anchorage to Bark Bay

Hut Bark Bay Hut
Great Walks Hut (DOC) (sleeps 34)
Facilities: Tap or tank water, Toilet, Enclosed wood/coal burner
Torrent Bay Lagoon can be crossed 2 hrs either side of low tide. Otherwise a track follows the shoreline. Soon the Falls River is passed before the track drops back to the sea. There are 4 campsites along this section.

Bark Bay to Awaroa Inlet

Hut Awaroa Hut
Great Walks Hut (DOC) (sleeps 26)
Facilities: Tap or tank water, Toilet, Enclosed wood/coal burner
Crossing the estuary or following the all-tide track, the track climbs away from the sea and crosses a saddle before returning to the shoreline by an old granite quarry. This stretch of coastline borders the Tonga Island Marine Reserve. The track soon crosses Tonga Saddle over to the Awaroa Inlet. There are 3 campsites along this section.

Awaroa Inlet to Whariwharangi Bay

Hut Whariwharangi Hut
Great Walks Hut (DOC) (sleeps 20)
Facilities: Tap or tank water, Toilet, Enclosed wood/coal burner
The Awaroa estuary must be crossed 2 hrs either side of low tide. Beyond Goat Bay is a lookout at Skinner Point and a descent into Totaranui.

Edging around Totaranui estuary a track leads off to the left meeting the Inland Track and providing alternative access to or from Wainui Bay. The Coastal Track crosses a saddle to Anapai Bay and Mutton Cove, both of which have campsites. Another saddle with a side trip to Separation Point leads to Whariwharangi Bay and its restored farm homestead.

Whariwharangi Bay to Wainui Bay

A saddle provides views of Wainui Inlet before dropping through gorse to the car park.

Walking times

  • Marahau to Anchorage: 12.4km, 4 hours
  • Anchorage to Bark Bay
    • High tide track: 12.1km, 4 hours
    • Estuary crossing: 8.4km, 3 hours
  • Bark Bay to Awaroa Inlet:11.4km, 4 hours
  • Awaroa Inlet to Whariwharangi Bay: 13.8km, 4 hours 45 minutes
  • Whariwharangi Bay to Wainui Bay: 5.5km, 1 hour 30 minutes

Track status

The filtered water supply at Anchorage and Bark Bay huts and campsites is out of order. We advise all visitors to boil or treat the water before drinking. The road to Totaranui is open. Gibbs Hill Track is open for mountain biking 1 May to 30 September 2015. Torrent Bay - water taxi and charter vessel use: Note that water taxis and day charter vessels are no longer able to pick up passengers or their gear from Torrent Bay. There is a limited drop off service operating in the morning between 9 am and noon. The nearest pick up points to Torrent Bay are Anchorage (30 minutes - low tide or 1 hour 30min - high tide) and Bark Bay (2 hours). Water taxis can still visit Torrent Bay outside of these hours to service landowners and their guests at Torrent Bay Township. Onetahuti - the bridge and Boardwalk at Onetahuti is open, providing an all tide crossing.  Awaroa and Venture Creek - visitors reaching Venture Creek on the Awaroa Estuary from the south may find the beach route round to Awaroa Hut impassable at times when there is a very high tide. If this happens then visitors should wait at Venture Creek until the tide recedes to reveal the beach route.   Goat Bay - There is a section of the access to the beach that is cut at large tides. Wait until the tide recedes before continuing. There is continuing track work between Awaroa and Onetahuti, due to be completed by the end of October. Follow all instructions issued by DOC track crew for your own safety. For more information contact the Nelson Visitor Centre.

Grade Easy
Bookings Required
Huts and campsites must be booked all year around.
Length 54.4km
One way
Time 17 hr 15 min – 18 hr 15 min
3 – 5 days
Altitude Sea level
From Marahau River, Abel Tasman National Park
To Wainui Bay
ID 246

About this track

Added 1 June 20011 June 2001 by MatthewMatthew. 5 revisions, most recently 31 January 201431 January 2014 by MatthewMatthew.
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