The crystal clear waters of the Tasman Sea sparkle in the morning sun, as a cool breeze ruffles the dusty-green canopies of the beautiful black beech trees. The far-off cry of a bellbird is the only sound to be heard over the gentle hum of the ocean.
One of New Zealand’s most popular coastal reserves, Abel Tasman National Park is a remote haven that features nature’s work at its finest. Located between Golden Bay and Tasman Bay at the northern end of the South Island, this secluded slice of paradise is the ideal destination for those who want to relax, unwind and get back to nature. A hidden treasure, Abel Tasman National Park is home to pale creamy sand, beautiful blue waters and sculptured granite cliffs; by anyone’s definition, this is paradise.
Located deep in the heart of the national park, Peppers Awaroa Lodge is the perfect Abel Tasman accommodation option. Complemented by stunning surroundings, this eco-lodge allows you to experience nature at its best – in total comfort. With no direct road access, getting there is half the experience; you can walk, kayak, catch a water taxi or fly.
If you’re searching for Abel Tasman National Park accommodation that combines modern comfort with natural beauty, look no further than Peppers Awaroa Lodge.
Attractions & Activities
Spanning 22,530 hectares, Abel Tasman National Park is bordered by the valleys of the Takaka and Riwaka rivers to the south and the waters of Golden Bay and Tasman Bay to the north. While much of the area suffered the effects of human intervention during early colonial times, regeneration efforts have seen much of its original beauty restored.
There’s no doubt about it; Abel Tasman National Park is a nature lover’s delight. With vast expanses of picturesque forest, it’s the perfect place for bushwalkers and hikers. The famous Coast Track is the best-known walk in the park – nearly 55 kilometres in length, it takes between three and five days to complete and links a myriad of crescent-shaped coves along the coast. Gaze out across the glistening ocean, spot fur seals on many of the granite headlands, or cool off and enjoy a swim at many of the gorgeous beaches along the way. If you’re lucky, you may also experience the beautiful red canopies of the northern Rātā tree; this stunning coastal native only flowers once every few years, but when it does it’s truly breathtaking.
Hike a section of the track, or pack a tent and enjoy a couple of days on the trail; guided tours are available, or you can hike independently. Since it isn’t a return track, you’ll need to organise transport back to your accommodation from the end – water taxis are available, and Peppers Awaroa Lodge is more than happy to help you make arrangements (note, fee applies to walk the track and the campsite must be booked in advance). For those who are keen to take the return trip, there is an inland track that allows hikers to explore the beautiful forests that span the region. If the coastal track seems a little too long, there are a number of shorter walks on offer, such as the Sky Track and Wetland Walk.
Off the coast, Abel Tasman National Park includes a number of beautiful, secluded islands – Tonga Island, Adele Island and Fisherman Island are only a short distance out across the waters of Tasman Bay. One of the best ways to experience these brilliant blue waters is by ocean kayak. With guided tours available, you can paddle out across the bay and even explore some of the islands; both Fisherman and Adele Island are accessible via kayak.
If sea kayaking doesn’t appeal, visitors are able to explore the waters aboard a sailing boat; on a clear, calm day there’s no better place to be. With private charters available, you can head out for either a half or full day. The staff at Peppers Awaroa Lodge are able to arrange a trip on your behalf – for example, you may choose to depart from city of Nelson, sail from Kaiteriteri to Anchorage, and then on to Peppers Awaroa Lodge. There’s also the option of spending a night on the boat at Anchorage, before hiking or catching a water taxi back to the lodge the following day.
As you might expect, this resplendent haven is home to more than picturesque forests and postcard-perfect beaches – the national park hosts an abundance of wildlife as well. When it comes to creatures of the avian variety, expect to see penguins, herons, petrels, gulls and terns out on the water. High above in the lush canopies, the magnificent tuis are a common sight – their iridescent feathers reflect the sun’s rays, making them one of the most beautiful birds in forest.
If your idea of a relaxing day is one spent out on the water with a rod in hand, you’ll be pleased to know that the park is a fantastic fishing destination. Head out on a charter boat in search of snapper or visit Anatoki Salmon Farm near Takaka.
When it comes to food and wine, guests are able to dine in-house at Peppers Awaroa Lodge. The Harakeke Restaurant & Cafe is a truly sumptuous experience; where possible, chefs incorporate the fresh herbs and seasonal vegetables from the lodge garden. Whether you stop by for a truly indulgent dinner and a glass of wine, or wake up with a fresh coffee as the sun rises over the treetops, this really is a dining experience like no other.
Stepping away from the park, the city of Nelson features its very own culinary delights. Enjoy a delightfully fresh coffee, indulge in a pint of flavoursome craft beer, or relax with an authentic Italian pizza. If it’s a clean, crisp glass of Sauvignon Blanc you crave, be sure to stop at a winery on your way through.
With a relatively mild climate, Abel Tasman National Park is a great place to visit most of the year. The park is busiest over the summer months when visitors can make the most of the beautiful beaches, however both autumn and spring deliver ideal bushwalking and hiking conditions.
Peppers Awaroa Lodge closes its doors over winter when the weather conditions aren’t as favourable.
Abel Tasman Accommodation
When it comes to Abel Tasman National Park accommodation, there’s nothing quite like Peppers Awaroa Lodge.
The architecture of this eco-lodge effortlessly intertwines with its natural surrounds, which has achieved Earth Check Benchmarked Silver Status; a world recognised standard for Eco Tourism that forms the basis of how the lodge is managed.
If you’re looking for a truly special holiday destination that allows you to experience New Zealand at its finest, Abel Tasman National Park beckons; leave life’s distractions behind and let nature reinvigorate your soul.