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Abel Tasman National Park

Named after Dutch explorer Abel Tasman, who first visited the region in 1642, it is New Zealand's smallest national park.

Abel Tasman National Park mixes physical activity with beach life. hiking or kayaking, sun bathing, swimming and snorkelling around the characteristic granite outcrops.

Those who crave home comforts can stay in luxurious lodges, but sleeping under the stars is regarded as the ultimate way to experience the spirit of the Abel Tasman.

Key Highlights

The strip of coast that falls within the boundaries of the park is highly distinctive. Granite and marble formations fringe the headlands, which are cloaked in regenerating native forest. Inviting sandy beaches fill the spaces between trees and tide line. Crystal clear streams tumble down mossy valleys to join the ocean.

At Te Pukatea Bay, a perfect crescent of golden sand, a walking track leads up Pitt Head to an ancient Maori pa (fort) site. Terracing and food pits are still visible, and it's easy to see why the location was chosen as a defensive site - the views are huge.

Native wildlife is an essential part of the scenery. Tui and bellbird song fills the forest; shags (cormorants), gannets and little blue penguins dive for their dinner; fur seals lounge on the rocks around the edge of Tonga Island.