Discover a string of uncrowded, unspoiled and naturally beautiful golden-sand beaches that hug the 50km-long coastal boundary of Abel Tasman National Park – New Zealand's smallest but perhaps most remarkable national park.
Framed between bush-covered rocky granite cliffs and shelving into the deep blue waters of Tasman Bay, these idyllic golden beaches – stretching south from Kaiteriteri through to Totaranui at the northern end – are accessible only by sea or foot along the Abel Tasman Coast Track, one of New Zealand’s finest walking trails.
Discover a mix of pristine beaches that range from long sweeping crescents of golden sand to pocket beaches nestled in tiny coves. Paddle from beach to beach on a three- to five-day kayaking adventure through calm turquoise waters.
Discover Split Apple Rock – a whopping granite boulder – and see protected marine life around Tonga Island, including curious fur seals, little blue penguins and playful dolphins.
Or hire a water taxi to drop you off at a deserted beach where you can picnic, sunbathe and swim in sunny seclusion; this region is famous for enjoying the most days of sunshine in New Zealand.
A round-up of the best beaches, from south to north, include…
Discover a gorgeous crescent of golden sand that shelves gently into the calm turquoise waters of Tasman Bay.
Rent a kayak for an hour or longer, snorkel the rocky tree-covered headlands and around the small offshore island or relax on the soft sand beach.
The sheltered waters of Kaiteriteri are perfect for swimming and family fun. A wide range of facilities and dining options are available in the nearby town and beachside accommodations.
Kaiteriteri is one of the jumping-off points for kayaking tours and water taxi trips along the coast.
Stroll the postcard-perfect crescent of soft, golden sand fringed by native ferns and beech trees. Swim, kayak and snorkel beneath soaring bush-covered rocky headlands.`
Hike up to Pitt Head and discover the terraced ruins of an ancient Maori pa (fortified village), with panoramic views overlooking the perfect crescent of golden sand at Te Pukatea Bay and Tasman Bay. Facilities include camping, water and toilets.
A pristine long golden-sand beach that shelves into crystal clear water, perfect for swimming, sunbathing and kayaking.
Facilities include a large camping site, safe drinking water, toilets and a DOC hut. This sheltered beach is a regular water taxi pick-up and drop-off point.
Relax on this long crescent of golden sand fringed by regenerative native bush and framed by bush-covered headlands.
Enjoy swimming, kayaking and snorkelling, as well as great sunrises from the beachside campsite and hilltop DOC hut. Facilities include safe drinking water, toilets and a cooking shelter.
Bark Bay is a sheltered beach and regular water taxi pick-up and drop-off point.
This wide golden-sand beach is home to probably the most beautiful camping site on the Abel Tasman Coastal Track.
Kayak, swim and snorkel the calm waters and explore glow-worm caves. Spot wading birds in the small estuary behind the beach and watch the breeding colony of New Zealand fur seals at Tonga Island, which anchors a marine sanctuary stretching from Bark Bay to Awaroa Heads.
Facilities include a camping site, water and toilets. This sheltered beach is a regular water taxi pick-up and drop-off point.
Discover a long and sweeping crescent of golden sand at one of the few coastal beaches that offers road access.
Facilities include safe drinking water, toilets and regular water taxi pick-up and drop-off schedules.
Note: The walking trail and beaches in Abel Tasman National Park can get crowded during the six-week peak holiday season over Christmas and New Year.
Latest update: Best Beaches in Abel Tasman: 11 January, 2019
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