The following FAQ's are the ones we get most often. We have a separate page for Covid-19 related questions.

If you have any others please feel free to contact us.

How can I pay?

We accept cash, Visa and MasterCard. An Eftpos facility is available at our office. Money will be taken on confirmation of booking.

Can I pay on the day?

No, money will be taken on confirmation of booking.

Can I come in any time and hire a kayak?

No, you are part of a small group safety briefing. We have set times for check-in’s. If you are a large party please check with our reservation staff.

Do I need to reconfirm my trip?

We recommend you check in with us 24 hrs prior to your departure to reconfirm.

How far in advance do you recommend booking?

We recommend booking ahead, all our trips can be booked online, for a full range of our trips Click here to book online. 

What time is your office open at Abel Tasman Kayaks?

In summer, we are open from 7:30 am - 8:30 pm.

In winter, we are open from 8:00 am - 5:00 pm.

Our phone lines stay open till 8:00 pm.

Do you operate every day?

We operate tours everyday except Christmas Day (25 Dec). We operate our trips seasonally, please check the open dates on the trip description.

Click here to see our full terms and conditions.

Where and at what time do I check in?

Check in time is seasonal, please check the time in the trip description.

Where is your base?

Our base is located in Marahau. Click here to see a map.

What is the minimum age for kayaking?

14 years old. There must be at least 1 adult for each person under 18 years.

What time do I need to be back on the last day of my hire?

On your last day, you are due back at our base by 4:00 pm in the summer and 3:30 pm in the winter. This is for operational and safety reasons.

Do we go if it’s raining?

Yes, bring along a rain jacket and an extra warm (wool/fleece) layer of clothing. Marine life is more active on rainy days.

When would Abel Tasman Kayaks cancel a trip?

Safety first. Our policy is not to launch a trip on safety grounds if we consider that the wind and sea conditions are unsafe for the group. This is our decision. In this situation we give a full refund please see our cancellation policy.

Is food included?

No, you must bring enough provisions for the number of days you are out,. Food requirements for each trip can be found on the itinerary on each tour page. Or an overview can be found here.

Do you hire camping gear?

Yes, from gas bottles to a full set of gear. It can be booked online at time of booking. These items are subject to availability.

If I am on my own can I hire a kayak?

No, in order to venture out on an unguided expedition you must take at least one friend with you (it’s more fun that way). This is a safety issue. Check out our sister company Abel Tasman Kayaks.

Do I need any previous kayaking experience to rent a kayak?

While past kayaking experience is desirable, a reasonable level of camping and outdoor skills and water confidence is essential. Before you go out on a kayaking trip you are briefed by a qualified sea kayak guide who is very familiar with the park and will provide you with information about places to go, how far you are likely to get in the time you have and information on safety, weather and sea conditions. You must demonstrate your ability to kayak before leaving our instructor. We require a minimum of 2 people for all rentals.

How much gear/equipment can we store in our kayaks for an overnight trip?

You can easily fit the equivalent of approximately two large packs full of equipment in the dry storage areas of a double sea kayak. This needs to be put inside large plastic bags to fit into the hatches.

Can I take my camera?

Yes, we have camera boxes for hire to keep cameras dry.

How fit do I have to be?

An average level of fitness is required for freedom sea kayaking trips. Guides instruct clients on easy ways to paddle and you will rapidly develop your skills. Enthusiasm is more important than fitness.

What if I’m not a strong swimmer?

We would recommend you join a guided trip. We would recommend our sister company Abel Tasman Kayaks.

Can I go kayaking if I get sea-sick?

If you are prone to sea sickness then please take your medication as recommended.

Are there any height and weight restrictions?

Height – clients who are taller than 6ft 3” (188cm) will struggle to get into an Econizh kayak and should check with us at time of booking. Clients who are taller than 6ft 7” (198cm) may not fit in a kayak at all and WILL need to try a kayak before they commence the trip, again ask us at the time of booking.

Weight – this is harder because it has a lot to do with where the weight is on the body and the height of the client. The main issue with weight is whether the clients can fit width wise into the kayak. Econizh kayak cockpits are 41cm wide at their widest, Sea bears are 47cm wide, any client who is larger than this at the bottom / hip area will be unable to kayak. Again check with us at time of booking. Most people are able to kayak.

Can I go if I'm pregnant?

It may be possible to kayak if you’re pregnant.  Please call us directly to discuss on 03 527 8022.

Can I go if I've got my period?

Yes you can but please bring a bag (gladbag or similar) to pack out used sanitary items. There is a basin or tap near all toilets for washing hands. All rubbish needs to be taken out as we operate in a national park.

Can we store our vehicle or extra luggage while we are out in the park?

We provide free storage of vehicles and extra luggage at our base.

Is transport included in the price of the trip?

We have a small charge for transport. Click here to find our times and pick up points in Nelson or Motueka.

On each tour there is a downloadable itinerary and map with all the requirements of what to bring. Below is a summary as a quick reference. Please refer to each tour for specific information.

  • DoC Hut or Camp pass: This is necessary to present to park wardens for each night you are in the park. If you have booked a package through us, we will provide this on arrival.
  • Food: Be sure to bring enough food for your whole journey. We recommend purchasing this before you get to Marahau. Make sure you bring plenty of fresh water with you. Filtered water is available at our base and hut sites, and untreated water is available at the campsites. 

Examples of food provisions:

1 Day   2 Day   3 Day   4 Day
    Breakfast   Breakfast   Breakfast
Lunch   Lunch   Lunch   Lunch
    Dinner*   Dinner*   Dinner*
Snacks   Snacks   Snacks   Snacks
Water   Water   Water   Water

*Dinner not required on last day of hire 

Day 1: Fresh foods

Day 2: Root vegetables/grains/cereals/vacuum packed meats

Day 3 & onwards: Dehydrated/tinned/packaged/packet meals

Snacks: fresh fruit, muesli bars, nuts and seeds, chocolate bars, crackers etc

Tip: The kayak will keep fruit and vegetables fresh for a 2-3 day period, save the dehydrated food for the last few days of your trip! We advise that leafy greens (eg lettuce) need to be eaten day 1 and advise against taking chicken. 

  • Kayaking clothes: You're bound to get wet when kayaking, bring some quick drying clothes to paddle in. Shorts, t-shirt (long sleeves are preferable), hat, sunglasses and shoes. Don’t forget your swimsuit and a towel!
  • Camp-site clothing: Warm camp-site clothing essential for the evenings. Long pants, t-shirt, long-sleeved shirt, warm top (wool/fleece), trainers and socks, sleeping clothing, rainproof jacket.
  • Personal Items: Such as medication, toiletries, camera (with plenty of film or memory space!), personal drinking bottle, first aid kit, sunscreen and insect repellent.
  • Cooking equipment: If you plan to cook a hot meal ensure you bring a cooker and fuel as fires are only permitted in certain parts of the park, at certain times of the year. Pots, Pans, Utensils, cutlery, plates and cups will also come in handy.
  • Camping equipment: During the evening it can become quite cool in the park so please make sure you pack a tent, camping mat and a warm sleeping bag.

Do I need hiking boots?

If you have booked a kayak and walk, want to explore the tracks around your campsites then hiking boots or firm footwear is required, but boots are not essential, walking sandals or sports shoes are fine.


On each tour there is a downloadable itinerary and map with all the requirements of what to bring or a summary can be found here. If you do not have any of the recommended camping equipment we hire a range.



Our water taxi pricing can be found here.

Where can we get drinking water?

Filtered drinking water is available at the DOC Huts: Anchorage, Bark Bay, Awaroa and Whariwharangi. All campsites have water; however, this water must be boiled or treated. Water in the camp sites is piped from streams and is unsafe for consumption. Use only safe water (e.g. boiled, treated, filtered) for drinking, brushing teeth etc. In this regard Giardia is the main concern.

Are there toilets in the park?

Yes, these are regularly cleaned and restocked with paper by park staff.

What do I do with my rubbish?

You must pack out all your rubbish. There are no rubbish disposal facilities in the park.

Are there jetties or boat ramps in the park?

There are no jetties or boat ramps in the park, and so you do get wet feet (at least) when boarding water taxis.

Can I light a campfire in the park?

There is a fire ban in the park, other than at designated sites. At certain times of the year the ban does not apply.

Are there any poisonous insects?

Sandflies are one of the nasties in the park. It is a small native insect which has an irritating bite. The use of insect repellent will ensure these insects do not annoy or bug you! Mosquitoes can also be a nuisance. Mosquitoes do not carry malaria in NZ. During the summer months, wasps and bees can be a problem, and are attracted to food, and may bite/sting if disturbed. If you are allergic, take medication with you (antihistamines). Please inform DoC staff of any wasp nests close to the track or camp sites.

Can I buy food and drink in the Abel Tasman National Park?

We sell a few small snack items and drinks. There is a store in Marahau. The nearest supermarket is in Motueka. There are no stores in the Abel Tasman National Park.

What is the weather like?

Normally the weather in the Abel Tasman National Park is warm and sunny. The average summer temperature is 24 C (75 F), minimum temperature 13C (55F) and water temperature 18C (65F). During the cooler winter months the average daily maximum is 12C (54F), minimum temperature is 4C (39F), and the water is 14C (58F). Winds can occur during any time of the year, and can affect kayaking itineraries and timing. Autumn and early winter are generally calmer.

Current weather and forward forecasts can be viewed:

NIWA National Park forecast

Abel Tasman coastal forecast

Short forecast for Abel Tasman area

Summer (Dec-Feb) 22 Degrees 13 Degrees
Autumn (Mar-May 18 Degrees 8 Degrees
Winter (June-Aug) 13 Degrees 3 Degrees
Spring (Sept-Nov) 17 Degrees 7 Degrees


Further information on the Abel Tasman National Park can be found at the following sites:

The Department of Conservation (DOC) and Nelson Tasman Tourism