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“Wonderful experience but a bit challenging”

Wilsons Abel Tasman
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Vista Cruise, Water Taxi, Walk, Sea Kayak Abel Tasman National Park, guided and independent Combinations to suit you, year-round. A family business welcoming visitors since 1841! Options from 2 hours to 5 days. 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 multiple NZ Tourism Award winners. Let us take care of the details while you switch off and enjoy.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities, Lockers / storage, Food available for purchase, Activities for young children
Reviewed March 23, 2014

Four of us 60-somethings did the kayak trip, cruise and walk combination. The kayaking was terrific--kudos to Paddy, our patient, knowledgable, and friendly guide. The scenery here is amazing, and we were able to view birdlife as well. The 5K walk--aka, hike--was the challenging part for one of our party. We made it fine--but the steep climbs were not what we expected, and a bit worrisome. Perhaps a warning, or directing us to a flatter section of the trail would be a good idea for visitors of a certain age! Overall, though, a wonderful day! We ordered the box lunch--which was hardy and delicious.

Thank FrogSongPond
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HLHAbeltas, Wilson Team Member at Wilsons Abel Tasman, responded to this reviewResponded August 6, 2014

Thank you for your comprehensive review. Abel Tasman coast track winds over and around granite headlands between golden sand beaches. There are no alternate flat sections to get from one beach to another. We allow plenty of time to take it slowly along the trail, and do offer the alternative of a beach stop with boat pick-up for anyone who wants to miss an uphill section. That does mean splitting a group for the duration of the walk.

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389 - 393 of 659 reviews

Reviewed March 22, 2014

We planned to do this walk with some friends some months ago and headed to Nelson at the end of February for our adventure. Wilsons did an amazing job of looking after us all and everything was very well organized. We were picked up from our overnight accommodation in Nelson and taken by bus to Kaiteriteri where we boarded a launch for a cruise to the top and then walked back over three beautiful days. We were fortunate that the weather was lovely as it gave us the very best look at this wonderful park. We were intrigued by stories on the way from our guides Garrick and Ben of Maori legends and trees and berries that could be eaten. Their knowledge of the bush was very good.The track was in very good condition and was a good walk for those that have a reasonably good level of fitness. The Lodges that we stayed at were very well appointed, the beds comfy and the food was very good. There was eight in our party and we all felt that Wilsons did a great job taking care of us during our time in Abel Tasman Park.

Thank Dididdly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HLHAbeltas, Wilson Team Member at Wilsons Abel Tasman, responded to this reviewResponded August 6, 2014

Thank you for taking the time to review us. Weather, guides, scenery, food and accommodation are standard on our trips. We’re glad you enjoyed it.

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Reviewed March 22, 2014

We booked the “Swing Bridge, Bush, and Beach” package with Wilsons, and were lucky enough to have our trip land on a dry, sunny day after 2 days of rain. We showed up early and boarded the catamaran “Vista” with a lot of other eager hikers; it got pretty full, both outside and inside. There was a small food stand at the back of the boat that sold coffee, snacks and beer. The catamaran also had 3 small bathrooms, very clean, each with its own tiny sink. The ride out was very smooth, and there was audio commentary that was unfortunately hard to hear with the engine noise and chatter. It got quieter as the boat emptied out. I noticed that there also some smaller boats- water taxis- doing the run out to Abel Tasman Park. I’m not sure if they cost less, but they didn’t look nearly as comfortable.

We stopped at Anchorage first where a large group got off (and at this point we carefully memorized and took pictures of the beach, since we knew this was our pick up point). Next stop was Torrent Bay, and then Medlands Beach, where we got off. The catamaran extends a ramp right down to the beach; no wading through the waves.

The hike was quite simply gorgeous. It was tiring, but not difficult; my husband and I are not in great shape, and it took us almost exactly 4 hours to reach the pick-up point, which includes a brief stop for lunch; many stops for photos; and a puzzling stop where the trail was submerged and we took off our shoes and socks to wade across. I found out later that walking the trail barefoot was a really bad idea, so I suggest bringing flip flops or water shoes if you have them. We took the high tide trail, but I guess the trail gets submerged sometimes.

The first half of the hike goes up (perhaps about 400 feet in elevation), and you lose sight of the Tasman Bay and hike through bush before walking back down to beautiful Torrent Bay. The second half is not as steep, and you go right around the bay, so there are more water views. The path is packed dirt the entire way. We skipped Cleopatra’s Pool since we were worried about time, but ended up on beautiful Anchorage Beach with about 50 minutes to spare, which blew by as we dipped our toes in the clear water. No sand flies, thankfully!

The catamaran showed up on time to pick us up, and too soon we were back at Kaiteriteri.

2  Thank travelerfromsj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HLHAbeltas, Wilson Team Member at Wilsons Abel Tasman, responded to this reviewResponded August 6, 2014

Thank you for the finely detailed description of your walk. Incidentally, our Vista Cruise trips cost around the same as the water taxis.

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Reviewed March 16, 2014

We were travelling to Abel Tasman with our 2 young kids and wanted to experience part of the Coastal Track. None of the defined tours met our needs, but through some email correspondence before arriving a member of the Wilson's staff was able to come up with a plan that was perfect for us!

The boat trip up the coast was a little crowded as it was the first trip of the day, and we couldn't make out any of the announcements over the general din, but the scenery was gorgeous. We were dropped off with some kayakers at Torrent Bay and had some wading to get to the beach to start our hike. It was a great day on the trail as we were all on our own, and the boat met us up the coast for our pick up in the afternoon.

All in all a great day, and we really appreciated the extra effort that the Wilson's staff went to to put a plan together that worked for us.

Thank leet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HLHAbeltas, Wilson Team Member at Wilsons Abel Tasman, responded to this reviewResponded August 6, 2014

Thank you for your review. It’s nice to know our efforts are appreciated when we design a day to suit the needs of a specific group.

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Reviewed March 16, 2014

We had a wonderful trip kayaking for 2 days with our guide, Sophie, and hiking for 2 of the 3 days, with our guide, Dave. We were blessed with sunny weather and gentle winds. Sophie was a terrific instructor on kayak techniques. We always felt safe, even heading out to paddle around Tonga Island to see the fur seals. Mike was extremely knowledgeable about the plants and trees in the area, as well as the history of the resident families over the generations. The food was good and plentiful. Lodge rooms were comfortable with great views. Don't forget to put the sand fly repellant on at the northern most lodge, Meadowbank. While you are sipping wine and eating predinner snacks at the picnic table, watching the sun set, they will sneakily attack youir ankles. Wonderful experience!

Thank Ron W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HLHAbeltas, Wilson Team Member at Wilsons Abel Tasman, responded to this reviewResponded August 6, 2014

I’m sorry we can’t control those pesky sandflies, and thank you for your review of the bits we can control. Glad you enjoyed your trip with us.

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