Which provider is the best?
If you want to go kayaking in the Abel Tasman, you will have a hard time to choose a provider. There are so many different vendors of kayak tours in Abel Tasman. We can’t say which is the best, since we have only tried one. But we certainly have some tips for you, how to find the right one:
First you should consider whether you want to make a guided tour or a non-guided tour (freedom kayaking). If you prefer to go on your own, you can (depending on the provider) no further than to Bark Bay. However, the guided tours take you all the way up to the Tonga Island Marine Reserve. In addition, the guides know where to find seals and explain a lot about the national park and the wildlife.
In order to find the right supplier, you should seek advice in a Visitor Information. We went to the I-Site in Motueka. The ladies gave us great advice and also booked the tour for us.
The Big Tonga Marine Reserve Kayak Tour
We chose the Big Tonga Marine Reserve Tour from Kaiteriteri Kayaks. It costs about 120 € per person and you can paddle for about 4 hours. We were kayaking in a small group with two guides. This was really nice. We have seen other tours where at least 15 kayaks were traveling together. With us, there were only five twin kayaks.
The food and equipment is included. However, you should bring your own water. In any case you should bring suncream, sunglasses and a hat!
We went by shuttle boat to Anchorage. From there we paddled northwards to Bark Bay and continued to Onetahuti. Normally, the tour goes exactly the other way, but due to the wind, it was probably easier to paddle from south to north on this day. The waves were initially quite high and the paddling was quite exhausting. The guides always adapted to the tempo of the group. Overall, it was quite relaxed and a really nice trip.
You can see a lot of the beautiful coastal landscape of Abel Tasman. We saw penguins, seals and lots of birds. To give you a better impression, we have just put together a few pictures. See for yourself: