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7 Reasons why you will love Abel Tasman National Park
Renowned for its spectacular scenery and wildlife, there are many things to do in Abel Tasman National Park.
A tiny coastal paradise at the top of the South, native bush gives way to limestone cliffs, golden beaches and the highest amount of sunshine hours in the country. What's not to love?
Here's 7 things you should do while you’re here:
Walk the coastal track. Here lies a world of perfection. We’ve already told you of the golden bays and lush native bush, but you should also know about the moss covered valleys, crystal clear streams and spectacular granite formations cloaked in regenerating forest.
The best way to experience all this beauty is the Abel Tasman Coastal Track. Skirting the edge of the park, the gentle 60km trail is a ‘Great Walk’ of New Zealand, and can be done as an overnight hike or as a series of short day trips. But if walking isn't your style, you can also choose to kayak your way round the many coves and sheltered inlets. Trust us, there’ll be no need for Photoshop on these pictures!
Spot the local wildlife on a guided eco tour. Although the smallest of New Zealand’s national parks, Abel Tasman is home to an abundance of wildlife. Its warm waters play host to dolphins (including the Dusky breed) seals and little blue penguins - while bellbirds, tuis, fantails and wood pigeon frequent the inland forests. Choose a guided walking tour and learn about the history of the area and its animal species - as well as the unique conservation project ‘Janszoon’ working to re-establish the are.
Kayak around the Tonga Marine reserve. Yes, we know, we’ve already covered off the wildlife thing - but we thought this one warranted a point of its own. The Tonga Island Marine Reserve is one of the most sought after attractions in the park and provides a protected habitat for fish, shellfish, seabirds, penguins and seals. The underwater environment is known for its distinctive pink algae that coats many of the rocks. Diving is allowed and a colorful array of fish and sea creatures can be seen below the surface. Kayaking is also a great way to see the many animal residents within the reserve, including the permanent seal colony residing on the rocky outcrops of the island.
Visit Cleopatra's Pool. Within the scenery of the park are some truly sensational natural wonders. Most notable is Cleopatra's Pool - a tranquil blue/green oasis featuring a natural moss lined water slide. A short one hour walk from either Torrent Bay or Anchorage, this pool truly lives up to its name.
See the Falls River swing bridge. Halfway between Bark Bay and Torrent Bay is the Falls River Swing Bridge. Only a 1.5 hour round trip the bridge is an impressive 47 meter structure crossing the falls river. You’ll see lush native forest, golden coast and if you're lucky - seals dozing on the shores below.
Relax on a beach in the sun. Okay, so this one isn't quite so specific, but as we mentioned, Abel Tasman has the highest amount of sunshine hours in the country, so what could be better than taking a minute to soak it all in (with factor 50+, obviously). Combine that with 60 kilometers (37 miles) of golden coast and you’ve got a vacation.
Hike to Cascade Falls. Another natural playground, Cascade Falls is a ‘must-see’ when you're in Abel Tasman National Park. This secluded waterfall is surrounded by rain forest and native bush. Only 1.5 hours walk from Torrent Bay, the Cascade Falls track is steep in parts - but well worth the hike to the top.
In short: Abel Tasman is an exciting and jaw-droppingly beautiful place to spend some time. You won't be short of things to do in Abel Tasman National park. You really should have the region and national park on your itinerary short list.