Abel Tasman Coast Track
Our plan was to fly from the USA to NZ and rest in Nelson for 2 days before doing the tramp from Anchorage Hut-Bark Bay - Awaraa-Whariharangi and then take the water ferry back to the start. Unfortunately there is a school group taking up one of the huts on the day we need it. We can either only rest in Nelson one day before we tramp or REVERSE our tramp and start from the North and hike south. Any thoughts on which way is best to tramp the Abel; South to North OR North to South. Maybe it doesn't matter. Our first visit to NZ, this will be one of five multiple day tramps we have scheduled!! Can't wait until Feb/Mar 2020!!!!!!
Either direction is beautiful. Water taxis service is very reliable, they are taking hundreds in and out at that time of the year. You could also consider Bark bay to Awaroa or the other direction. That’s a subjectively more pretty section. Or take an extra day and do two sections, it’s not far on each and is easy walking. Enjoy, it’s a popular track for lots of reasons and justified!
The direction doesn't matter, it's very nice either way. The only thing you must be aware of is crossing the Awaroa Estuary within 2 hours either side of low tide, and still having time to make it to the next hut before dark. https://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/places-to-go/nelson-tasman/places/abel-tasman-national-park/things-to-do/tracks/abel-tasman-coast-track/tide-tables/
Which is the more popular direction out of interest?
It’s probably more popular travelling south (Marahau) to north due to water taxis only going as far as Totaranui and the longer distance by road and less transport options from Wainui bay. I’m surprised that there’s no operator servicing the Awaroa estuary, perhaps by some form of amphibious craft. The tide times can completely define a trip plan as you simply can’t get over at anything over 1.5 - 2 hrs either side of low tide
I've done the track twice and both times hiked north to Wanui Bay from Marahau, but would actually recommend the reverse, ending at Wanui Bay is pretty meh, then you need to wait for your shuttle. Walking into Marahau and hitting a restaurant makes more sense to me.
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