the way. Water taxis ferry visitors around
the park, and scenic cruises show off the
If you’re willing to work up a sweat, paddling is the way to go. Abel Tasman Kayaks has
been taking guests inside the park for 30 years,
and visitors can rent kayaks for a self-guided
experience or sign up for group tours that
range from a half-day jaunt to a five-day expedition that travels the length of Abel Tasman.
The company also lets guests mix and match,
creating a custom itinerary with kayaking,
camping, hiking and water taxi transfers.
As we devoured sandwiches and chocolate
cake during a picnic lunch, Leenhouwers told
us about the Maori concept of turangawaewae,
a special place that restores a person and
makes them feel whole. His is the Astrolabe,
takes his family camping.
Later, as our tour came to a close, we pulled
our kayaks together and hoisted a sail, letting a
faint breeze pull us into the beach at Anchor-
age, where I camped for the night before hiking
out in the morning. Because I spent only a day
on its waters, Abel Tasman might not be my
turangawaewae, but I did feel restored, and
there was still so much more to explore. X
41°00’ 10.1”S 173°00’ 24. 8”E
Abel Tasman Kayaks
lets visitors get close to wildlife,
such as New Zealand fur seal pups.