Kayaking and Hiking in Nelson

25 Nov
Kayak, seals at Nelson

Kayak, seals at Nelson

Kayak in Nelson

Kayak in Nelson

If you hate winter and the cold winds, Nelson is the place to be. Plenty of sunshine year round.

I wish I had more time to spend in Nelson. It was basically reach town, find hotel, tomorrow go kayaking and next day off to the next destination. That said, this is the place to practice kayaking skills.

I had never gone kayaking before and it was an enriching experience – truely inspiring. It didn’t matter that I was travelling alone, the kayaking operator hooked me up with another person. If anyone is heading that way, a few tips for noting.





Tip 1 : It is a long distance from Fox Glacier/Franz Josef Glacier. By the time the bus reaches here, it is about 7 pm (depending on bus operator and their schedules).

Tip 2 : Before booking accommodation, check if the hostel/hotel/motel offers pick-up/pick-off service.

Stay at least 2 nights and there will be sufficient time here for kayaking and shopping. Kayaking can be done on a half day basis, one full day or multiple days. Another option is to combine a half day kayaking and half day free and easy hiking. I opted for the latter and had a wonderful time.

Split Apple Rock

Split Apple Rock

Even though it was already 7.30pm, the staff at my hostel managed to book the trip for me the next day. Some operators do pick-up and pick-off from Nelson accommodations. Best to ask before booking.



First part of the trip was getting fitted with the gear and safety briefing. Then off we rowed! We were on a double kayak except for the guide. 6 of us plus the guide equalled to seven. Hah! I could count!

Te Pukatea Bay

Te Pukatea Bay

It was a fun group. Two were a newly married couple from England. Another were a pair of mother and daughter from United States. I was on a kayak with a girl from Ireland. Lots of splashing around on the water.

The sky looked dark for a moment. Thank goodness it did not rain. Best of all,  a rainbow appeared. The camera snapped away.

Our guide was terrific. He showed us a cave within the rocks and we kayaked through it! Next was a long stretch when we had to kayak vigorously to reach the Split Apple Rock. Sadly, it was time to return. The adventure was not over yet for me.

Te Pukatea Bay

Top view Te Pukatea Bay, Abel Tasman National Park



I opted to do the free and easy hiking after the kayak trip. Here I was alone on the beach after the watertaxi took me there. As the signboard said, I was at the Te Pukatea Bay.

I was exhilarated and at the same time apprehensive because I didn’t bring along a map for the hike. Oh well, getting lost was part of the adventure! After a short lunch, I was on my way.



Anchorage Bay, Abel Tasman National Park

Anchorage Bay, Abel Tasman National Park

It was a bit of an uphill climb and the views along the way were awesome!



At one point, I came across a fork on the track and memorised this route just in case I got lost. Luck was with me – I turned right and apparently that was the correct direction to Anchorage Bay.


Anchorage Bay, Abel Tasman National Park

Anchorage Bay, Abel Tasman National Park


The only thing to do left was wait for the water taxi for the return trip back. It was a fantastic adventure and I would gladly do it again!

There are more walking tracks in the Abel Tasman National Park. The Abel Tasman Coast Track is one of New Zealand Great Walk. Another popular track is the Inland Track. Click here for more activities in Abel Tasman National Park.

For more information on things to do in Nelson, click on Nelson Tourism.

Next time if I am in the area, I definitely want to stay longer and do more kayaking. If you are coming to Nelson, try kayaking. Wonderful adventure on the water. Guaranteed!


Till next time, have fun in whatever you do!

Turqoise water in Nelson

Te Pukatea Bay, Abel Tasman National Park - Nelson

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Posted by on November 25, 2010 in New Zealand, photography, Travel


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