3 Day Backpacker Plus Freedom Walk
This package is designed for the budget conscious and includes backpacker (dorm or private room) accommodation, pack transfers and transport.
Day 1 - Marahau to Anchorage
Approx. 4 hours - 12.4km
You will be picked up in Nelson or Motueka by Abel Tasman Coachlines and transferred to Marahau, where your walk begins.
The walk today is 12.4kms and passes through regenerating forest, beside beautiful golden sand beaches while paralleling the Astrolabe Roadstead – the waterway with Adele and Fishermans Islands defining it.
Usually we linger at one or more of the beaches – Apple Tree Bay being a favourite, before gaining some altitude (approx. 100m) with resultant magical views over all of Tasman Bay, before dropping into the perfect beach of Anchorage and our boat accommodation for the night.
You are picked up off the beach and shuttled out to the boat. After settling in perhaps a swim and a little later on a BBQ is served on the top deck.
Accommodation – Dorm Room with shared bathroom on the Aquapackers (includes BBQ dinner and breakfast)
Day 2 - Anchorage to Awaroa Inlet
Approx. 8 hours - 23km (or 19.8km with tidal shortcut)
After breakfast you will be shuttled to shore and begin your walk for the day – today is a big day in the heart of the park.
You begin crossing the Torrent Bay Inlet to the settlement there before heading inland before descending into Medlands Bay and then coming across Bark Bay. From Bark Bay you ascend again to the highest point (approx. 135m) before descending into the historic Tonga granite quarry – long since abandoned. It’s a great spot for a break, Tonga Island sits out there directly in front of the quarry and it’s a great place for a swim.
The long Onatahuti Beach is the next feature and we meander along it soaking up the beauty – and a tidal estuary crossing meets us at the end of the beach. From there a gentle ascent through manuka and tree fern forest until you turn off to Awaroa Inlet.
Accommodation – Awaroa Glamping (single tent - Shared Bathroom) - Pizza available to purchase or self catering available
Day 3 - Awaroa Inlet to Totoranui
Approx. 2.5 hours - 5.5km
Depart Awaroa Glamping and make your way across the huge Awaroa Inlet to Pound Gully. Here the track weaves it way through some amazing virgin New Zealand forest with podocarp giants reaching skyward, before bursting out on yet another golden sand beach – Waiharakeke Bay.
Up and over another headland with huge native Rata trees clinging to the granite cliffs. It's here you see your destination, the beach of Totaranui stretching out in the distance. Before long you see tents, cars and people as you make your way to the pick-up point for your water taxi journey back to Marahau. On this you complete your Abel Tasman experience by seeing from the sea, all the landscape you spent 3 days walking through.
Transport provided from Marahau back to Nelson
Price for the 3 Day Backpacker Plus Walk
Dorm Bed Option - $559 per person (shared dorm room and single tent with shared bathroom)
Private Bedroom/tent Option - $615 per person (private room/tent and shared bathroom) based on twin share
- 2 nights' accommodation as outlined above
- Ground transport from Nelson or Motueka
- Packed lunch each day
- Breakfast and BBQ dinner included on the Aquapackers Boat
- Water Taxi Totaranui – Marahau
- Your personalised itinerary, maps and other information
- Single supplement available for an additional $180 (private room)