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“Big boat - stable but slow” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Wilsons Abel Tasman National Park

Wilsons Abel Tasman National Park
Abel Tasman National Park 7143, New Zealand
03-528-2027
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Type: National Parks, Tours, Outdoors
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Attraction details
Owner description: Year-round guided and independent walking, guided sea kayaking and water transport in Abel Tasman National Park. Options from 2 hours to 5 days in the Park. Fast, safe comfortable Vista Cruise. Overnight at Torrent Bay Lodge or Meadowbank Homestead – Awaroa on the beachfront within Park boundaries. Ensuite accommodation, fine food, no heavy packs to carry. Travel with 2010 NZ Tourism Award winners. Let us take care of the details while you switch off and enjoy.
Melbourne, Australia
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Big boat - stable but slow”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2012

We only had one day to walk the Abel Tasman national park. There are at least three or four companies operating water taxis to various points in the park, and we chose Wilson's partyl based on the feedback on tripadvisor. Wilson's operates the largest boat of all the companies around. This has several advantages - the boat is able to lower quite a long ramp, which makes boarding and alighting very easy, probably easier than some of the smaller vessels. The size also makes it more stable, which is a big plus if you are vulnerable to seasickness, like my partner is. On the other hand, the disadvantage is that it takes longer to load and unload. The smaller water taxis had zipped off well before us as it took awhile to get everyone on board, and I think we were waiting for some guests that had shown up late. Wilson's takes care to account for everyone they need to pick up, which is fantastic. The flip side is that with a bigger boat, there's more people that could show up late and hold up the departure.

Visited November 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DJWAbelTas, Wilson family at Wilsons Abel Tasman National Park, responded to this review, November 27, 2012
Thank you for travelling with us and writing about your experience. We won a NZ Tourism Award by changing a boat ride along the coast from mere transport into a full experience of the Park.

Water Taxis left earlier because they operate on different timetables. They can zip off on a good day but, with a few waves, the description is more bang-bang. We operate two smaller water taxis and all of our team happily trade off zipping for the space to move around, unobstructed viewing and comfort of the Vista cruise (it’s not the biggest but is the best appointed).

We have also recently had an unusual number of people booking on the morning of departure. To allow us to tailor the best experience please book at least the day before if possible.
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Christchurch, New Zealand
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Had such a brilliant day!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2012

The boat was great (and I'd still really like to know how it manages to un-beach itself??). The staff were super friendly (which was just as well, because they were warm and reassuring during a brief (and thankfully mild) patch of rougher water). Abel Tasman itself is unbelievable. We stopped at Bark Bay, which was amazing, but I reckon we'd have loved Awaroa too.

Wilsons really treated us to something remarkable and we are really grateful!

Visited November 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HLHAbeltas, Wilson Team Member at Wilsons Abel Tasman National Park, responded to this review, November 18, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to write a review for us - and sharing your photos. I'm glad you enjoyed your day, despite some unusually rough weather. We have an article on our website with all the technical details that explains how the boat does what it does but Trip Advisor does not allow the link.
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New Delhi, India
Top Contributor
332 reviews 332 reviews
137 attraction reviews
Reviews in 160 cities Reviews in 160 cities
243 helpful votes 243 helpful votes
“Understand before you go.”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2012

My husband and I just completed the 5 day walk/kayak. We feel the brochure overstated the walking. This is an easy walk, not the challenge of physical activity we had hoped. In addition, we were expected to stop and wait for those who could not keep the slow pace. We stopped for tea and food breaks far too often. In other words, we could have done this in two days, but the brochure offered so much more. Kayaking helped, but this is far too slow a pace for people who have experienced others of the 9 great walks.
The staff and guides were excellent and the meals and lodging of very high quality. There is no fault with any of the service. We were just talked into the wrong trip and feel cheated from an experience and money point of view.
There are other more challenging, less expensive options.

Visited October 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DJWAbelTas, Wilson Team at Wilsons Abel Tasman National Park, responded to this review, November 6, 2012
I’m please that you rated us as excellent or very high quality. Individual interpretation of challenging is subjective and the Abel Tasman Coastal track has the reputation of the easiest Great Walk in New Zealand. Walking times and distances, as quoted in our brochure and web site, are based on Department of Conservation recommendations.

We pride ourselves on sharing the essence of the Park on our 5-day trips so we stop regularly along the way for our guests to absorb the atmosphere and appreciate the environment. Lunch and tea/coffee brew-ups on the beach give even more time to explore on your own if you wish. Our 3 day trips are more condensed and most people leave wishing they had taken the extra nights to relax and explore the Torrent Bay and Awaroa areas.
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TX
Top Contributor
100 reviews 100 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 76 cities Reviews in 76 cities
102 helpful votes 102 helpful votes
“Guest Focused”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2012 via mobile

Definitely got the impression they value guests and want them to have the best experience possible. Might have been because the season of is just starting and there aren't large numbers to handle yet but just from general impressions I don't think so.

Used them primarily for traihead transportation but still got sights pointed out. Only issue is the use of small boats which can be very crowded and cold on a long ride (2 hrs) to trail. I know the advertising reflects the possibility but as might be imagined the focus is on the spacious, enclosed ship with lounge and hot beverages. It would have been nice to know so I could have made informed choice. Next time I'll ask.

At any rate all lacking specific info for transportation alone if go with Abel
Tasman Sea Shuttle.

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Sydney, Australia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“a complete break”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2012

I've recently completed the Wilson's 5 day walk in the Abel Tasman Park. I was one of a party of five..
The guide we had was very knowledgeable. She was also very sensitive to our needs and paced the walk accordingly. The other guides we met along the way were equally as helpful and friendly.The accommodation in the lodges was very comfortable and the views stunning. All meals were provided and of excellent quality. It was certainly value for money.
This walk is not too strenuous and would suit anyone of moderate fitness.

Visited October 2012
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HLHAbeltas, Wilson Team Member at Wilsons Abel Tasman National Park, responded to this review, October 25, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to recommend us on line. It gives the team real boost to get such great feedback.
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