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Guest Post by my buddy and baby daddy Tom Wilson

My Top 5 Reasons To Do An Abel Tasman Kayak Adventure

Do you love adventurous holidays?

Well an Abel Tasman kayak adventure is one of those. It's a little bit like taking a cold swim. It wakes you up in a flash. And it leaves you feeling invigorated... mind, body and soul.

Just imagine exploring countless golden beaches, relaxing in the sun, and discovering some of New Zealands most beautiful places up close and personal. A holiday like this can leave you with happy memories for a lifetime.

Shaye and I recently took a week off work and went to explore the Abel Tasman national park in a kayak.

We loved it! And we think you will too...

Here are 5 reasons an Abel Tasman kayak adventure is totally worth doing.


1. See the cutest animals ever

What's fluffy and cute with big round eyes? Nope, it's not me when I haven't shaved for a month...

It's little baby fur seals. And you'll see heaps of them on your Abel Tasman kayak adventure.

I had heard a lot about the wildlife in the Abel Tasman national park. But I never expected it to be like this.

Within the first 20 minutes of being there, we had already met our first furry friend. We pulled up onto a sandbar for a snack and out of the water popped this handsome chap.

the seal we saw on our abel tasman kayak trip
Seals like these are all over the place

He jiggled his way up the sandbar, stuck his nose high into the air and then made a dash for the other side. It was a short but welcome encounter.

The park has got several seal colonies which we visited over the next few days. These are mostly on the islands, so kayaking is the best way to see them.

Seal pups are inquisitive animals. And although it didn't happen to us, they have been known to swim to you and hop on your kayak.

There are also lots of cute penguins too. You come across them floating in the sea like corks. Bobbing up and down with the waves.


2. Explore beautiful beaches

torrent bay panoramic image in abel tasman
A panoramic of Torrent Bay - nice place for a dip

Abel Tasman is full to the brim with amazing beaches to explore. It seems like there's one on every corner.

The sand at these beaches is a beautiful golden colour. It makes the water a sparkling emerald green.

The photo above is just one of the beautiful places we explored... Torrent bay. This place has a huge shallow estuary where the water heats up during high tide. It gets nice and warm and it's perfect for swimming in.

There are a few beaches which are very popular. But 90% of them have got no-one on them. These are the best places to just pull up with your kayak, make a tasty snack and take a rest from the paddling.

Or if you're feeling adventurous, beaches are good spots to launch a walking expedition. The national park is riddled with walking tracks. And many of these take you to stunning locations.

One particular Abel Tasman track we followed took us to Cleopatra's Pools. This is an absolute must see if you're doing an Abel Tasman kayak adventure. It's a series of crystal clear pools and natural slides tucked away in the bush. A real oasis. Make sure to take a picnic with you. I wish we had.


3. Relax and rejuvenate in peaceful locations

what a beautiful place to wake up in - abel tasman
Not a bad view from our tent huh?

The national park is gorgeous. There's no doubting that. This photo is from mosquito bay. A nice little spot tucked away and only accessible by kayak.

One of the things we found most enjoyable about our holiday was getting to our camping spot early, pitching the tent and then doing whatever else we felt like for the rest of the day.

Each campsite offers unique walking tracks and different terrain to explore.

Or if you're more horizontally inclined, it's also nice to kick back and relax on the beach.


4. Keep fit and healthy on holiday by paddling

an abel tasman kayak adventure
Paddling was a great way to see
the park while staying active

Shaye and I are active people who live for New Zealand adventure travel. We like to keep our bodies moving and healthy, even on holiday.

That's why an Abel Tasman kayak adventure was a good option for us. Four days of exercise was a great way to rejuvenate on our break from work.

However, the distances you have to paddle each day aren't too far. On average it probably took us around 4 hours of paddling each day...

And that was including the time we spent getting distracted by all the beautiful spots along the way. The workload is manageable, especially if it's calm weather.

Speaking of calm weather. We did our trip in February - the middle of New Zealand summer. I think Jan to early April are the best times to go, because the weather is likely to be on your side.


5. Get back to nature

cooking dinner at mosquito bay in abel tasman national park
Nice location for curry in a can

I'm a bit of a wild-man at heart. There's something about...

  • Sleeping in tents
  • Cooking on gas burners
  • Pooping in long drops

... that makes me feel alive.

Well perhaps not the long drops thing. But I do love camping. It's so nice just being in tune with nature. Getting up when the sun comes up. Going to bed when it gets dark. It makes me feel awesome on the inside.

When you're doing an Abel Tasman kayak adventure - you can't help but feel good about life


6. Romanticize Your Life - Get engaged!

tom and shaye, about to start our abel tasman kayak trip
Newly engaged - Me and my fiancé Shaye

Shaye and I got engaged on our trip.

I'm not known for being a romantic guy. But I think I did a pretty good job.

In fact, it wasn't difficult. The beautiful surroundings created the perfect romantic atmosphere for it.

All I had to do was ask :)

But seriously, if you're looking to get away for a while with your partner. This is a great place to do it. Firstly, you'll be on a kayak with them for hours per day. It gives you a good chance to be together and talk.

Plus, if you want to just get away from it all, you'll find plenty of empty beaches.


An Abel Tasman kayak adventure is an awesome way to have fun, get energized and see some of New Zealand's most beautiful locations. But there are plenty of other options available.