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Abel Tasman National Park (Kaiteriteri)
At 22,530 hectares Abel Tasman is New Zealand’s smallest national park. It is located at the top of the South Island within the Nelson Tasman region (90 minutes drive from Nelson) and is renowned for its golden beaches, sculptured granite cliffs, and world-famous Abel Tasman Coast Track. It also has a mild climate and is a good place to visit at any time of the year.
The most noticeable features of this park are the golden sandy beaches, the fascinating rocky outcrops (mainly granite but with a scattering of limestone and marble) and the rich, unmodified estuaries. The landscape has been modified, perhaps more than in New Zealand’s other national parks. The vegetation cover varies and reflects a history of fires and land clearance, but the forests are regenerating well especially in damp gullies where a rich variety of plants can be found. Black beech dominates the drier ridges.
The more common forest birds, like tui and bellbirds, can be seen along with pukeko around the estuaries and wetlands. The park’s boundary excludes the estuaries and seabed but in 1993 the Tonga Island Marine Reserve was created along one part of the Abel Tasman coast. Like a national park, all life in the reserve is protected.
The nearest towns to the park are Motueka, Takaka and Kaiteriteri.
Known simply as ‘Kaiteri’ to locals, Kaiteriteri is the most popular resort town in the area with its beautiful, golden, safe-swimming beach.
With a population of only around 700 residents, Kaiteriteri is very popular as a holiday destination, with the local campgrounds being booked up often months before the summer holidays begin.
The main beach, estuary, and much of the land around Kaiteriteri are all classified as Recreation Reserve, and managed and administered by the Kaiteriteri Recreation Reserve Board.
Cruise ships can tender within Abel Tasman National Park and tender ashore to Kaiteriteri.
Contact your shipping agent for more information.
Things to do in Abel Tasman National Park include:
- Sea kayaking
- SUping (Stand Up Paddleboarding)
- Overnight lodge accommodation
Access into the park is by boat only.
For more information, please contact Nelson Tasman Tourism.
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