We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

ATNP overnight- advice

San Diego...
Level Contributor
19 posts
2 reviews
ATNP overnight- advice

Kia ora and greetings! I am having a solo 3 week trip to the South Island in December and have most of it planned, but the ATNP part is muddling. I hope to spend the night in the park to enjoy the early morning time on the next day, since it will surely have many visitors this time of year. I am fit and prefer quieter, peaceful places. Here is what I have been thinking:

Dec. 20 Arrive Kaiteriteri or Marahau later afternoon via rental car and spend night

Dec. 21 Take 10:30 am water taxi from kaiteriteri or marahau to Awaroa Bay. Afternoon low tide is 3:11. Walk Awaroa Bay to Bark Bay (4 hours). Spend night in Bark Bay Hut. (still available as of now)

Dec. 22 Walk Bark Bay to Anchorage (3 hours). Afternoon low tide is 4 pm. Get 2:30 pm or 4:00 pm water taxi from Anchorage back to Kaiteriteri or Marahau.

Can anyone advise if this makes sense given tides, water taxi schedules, distances etc?

Im confused about which parts of the hike the tides will impact—will I be unable to hike Bark Bay to Anchorage until mid afternoon on the 22nd?

Does it make more sense to base in kaiteriteri or marahau?

Finally, I live on a gorgeous beach in Southern California in the US. Is ATNP a "must -do" or would it be wiser to move along to Farwell Spit or have addtional tiem in Punakaiki, my next stop after Kaiteriteri?

Many thanks!

7 replies to this topic
Nelson-Tasman...
Level Contributor
9,314 posts
474 reviews
1. Re: ATNP overnight- advice

I think your walk times are a little on the light side. You need longer so you can admire the view, do side trips to beaches, take photos etc. The walk you have planned isnt affected by tides. Awaroa estuary is the tidal issue but that is from awaroa north and you are travelling south. You can hike bark bay to anchorage at any time, there is a low tide route and a high tide route. "

I recommend staying at kaiteriteri if you are boating into and out of park. However, i suggest you get the 9 or 9.30am boat shuttle rather than the 10 30 as you wont be starting walking until after midday.

You only need a couple of hours in punakaiki to visit pancake rocks and do a short rainforest walk through stunning forest. or you may like to canoe the river with stunning cliffs and palms alongside.

Wharariki beach in golden bay is unlike any other - its a wild sandswept beach which is stunning at sunrise and sunset. However, it really depends on how much time you have and the rest of your itinerary.

California
Level Contributor
11,173 posts
73 reviews
2. Re: ATNP overnight- advice

Wharariki Beach and Farewell Spit are at the far end of Golden Bay. It is accessed by a single road over Takaka Hill and would be a 2-hour drive from Kaiteriteri, so 4 hours for the return trip.

Have you considered Motukiekie Beach, located about 20 minutes south of Punakaiki? It would require low tide, otherwise the beach doesn't exist. It is known for it's tidal pools and off shore rock formations. Google images and see if it appeals. You might want to plan some time for it.

Edited: 24 July 2018, 00:11
San Diego...
Level Contributor
19 posts
2 reviews
3. Re: ATNP overnight- advice

Well, sadly I waited too long and Bark Bay Hut is full, so Im looking at another option. I can still get a spot at Awaroa Lodge -- so my schedule would be as follows. I realize its a long walk on Dec 22nd -- is it too much? If this is too much walking I might consider staying in Kaiteriteri and just taking a day sailing trip with AT Sailing Adventures. Thank for any feedback!

Dec. 20 Arrive Kaiteriteri later afternoon via rental car and spend night

Dec. 21 Take noon water taxi from kaiteriteri to Awaroa Bay. Afternoon low tide is 3:11. Spend night in Awaroa Hut (still available as of now)

Dec. 22 Get up early and walk Awaroa Hut to Anchorage (6 hours). Afternoon low tide is 4 pm. Get 2:30 or 4:00 pm water taxi from Anchorage back to Kaiteriteri.

Christchurch, New...
Destination Expert
for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
Level Contributor
40,109 posts
450 reviews
4. Re: ATNP overnight- advice

Awaroa HUT or LODGE? There is a very big$$$ difference!

San Diego...
Level Contributor
19 posts
2 reviews
5. Re: ATNP overnight- advice

good catch--hut!!

Nelson-Tasman...
Level Contributor
9,314 posts
474 reviews
6. Re: ATNP overnight- advice

The awaroa glamping is also a good option and much cheaper than the awaroa lodge. the awaroa lodge has new ownership and is really pricey now!

San Diego...
Level Contributor
19 posts
2 reviews
7. Re: ATNP overnight- advice

glamping looks cool! but out of my budget unfortuantley...

Reply to: ATNP overnight- advice
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted
Get answers to your questions about Abel Tasman National...
More Abel Tasman National Park Topics