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kayaking vs mailboat in park, Dec vs Nov, skip islands?

Ohio
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kayaking vs mailboat in park, Dec vs Nov, skip islands?

1. Its our first time visiting the park, and it will likely be early December. Is the water too cold at that time for kayaking ( likely get sprayed a bit, water sloshed into kayak, sitting in wet clothes, etc)? Would it be better at that time to take more of a touring boat instead of kayak?

2. We arrive to New Zealand Nov 22, and had planned to do North Island and then South Island. Have a total of 5 weeks in New Zealand. Seems South Island is very busy in December. Would it be better to switch the order of the islands and do South Island first?

3. Has anyone any info about taking a mailboat around in Abel Tasman?

4. Ive read you can't see many seals at that time bec of breeding. Is that right? If so, do you think our time would better be spent hiking and boating along shore, skipping the islands - or should we still include the islands?

Wilsons Abel Tasman
Walking Tours, Boat Tours, Eco Tours, Nature & Wildlife Tours, Kayaking & Canoeing
Abel Tasman Kayaks
Walking Tours, Kayaking & Canoeing, Nature & Wildlife Tours
Wainui Falls Track
Hiking Trails, Waterfalls
Nelson-Tasman...
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1. Re: kayaking vs mailboat in park, Dec vs Nov, skip islands?

My suggestion. check with local tours such as aqua taxi or wilsons.

take a boat trip to bark bay and guided kayak back go anchorage and then boat trip back, or stay overnight at anchorage and walk back to marahau next day. Aquataxi also offer an overnight option

Nelson-Tasman...
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2. Re: kayaking vs mailboat in park, Dec vs Nov, skip islands?

There is no mailbox in Abel tasman.

water will be fine, Its never as warm as tropical waters. make sure you have suitable gear and it will be great. you would never regret visiting abel tasman park.

New Zealand
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3. Re: kayaking vs mailboat in park, Dec vs Nov, skip islands?

<<Seems South Island is very busy in December>>

No more busy than the North Island and considerably less busy than Ohio.

You might be interested to know -

Ohio is 116,096 sq km in size with a population of 11.5 million

North Island is 113,729 sq km with a population of 3.3 million

South Island is 151,215 sq km with a poulation of 1 million

and Dec is summer - the kayaking will be glorious :)

Ballarat, Australia
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4. Re: kayaking vs mailboat in park, Dec vs Nov, skip islands?

The mail boat trips run in the Marlborough Sounds, not Abel Tasman.

If you want to see Abel Tasman from the water, you can also consider sailing trips.

All the nice holiday spots are relatively crowded over the summer school holidays, but crowds are still light compared to many other places in the world. You won't have a mad crush or long queue anywhere. I would do the North Island fist so you have warmer weather down south.

Ohio
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5. Re: kayaking vs mailboat in park, Dec vs Nov, skip islands?

Oh, thank you everybody for all your advice. I keep hearing about such enormous crowds that destroy the pleasure and the atmosphere of these beautiful places. So I was very concerned.

If you don't mind, can you all opine on my walking choice and the boating options.

1. For walking, I was considering either the area between Anchorage and Bark Bay, or going North from Totaranui for maybe 2 hours and then return same way. The attraction to the first option is the suspended bridge, but Ive read that going North from Totaranui is "more authentic". What do you think?

2. For kayaking in December - Ive read the seals are not visible bec they are breeding, so a visit to islands is disappointing. Do you agree? If you do, I will try to stick with just coastal area ( no islands).

3. Coastal kayaking seems to take place in one of 2 areas - either around the Torrent Bay area or around the Split Apple Rock area. Do you suggest choosing one over the other?

You've all been such a great help. Thank you very much for all your advice..

Ohio
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6. Re: kayaking vs mailboat in park, Dec vs Nov, skip islands?

That IS interesting, and yes, I did not know that. But Ohio is really a very quiet sort of place, very family oriented.

Nelson-Tasman...
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7. Re: kayaking vs mailboat in park, Dec vs Nov, skip islands?

i live in Nelson and we see seals all year round at Abel Tasman. We do are doing ANOTHER cruise and kayak trip on abel tasman in early december and its the best time to go. Its before all the crowds, before the flash holiday makers come with speed boats and hum up and down the coast line. I think you will enjoy Bark Bay to Anchorage and if you can do a side walk to cleopatras pools fit that in as well. Aqua taxis offer kayaking around tonga bay and tonga island. do that. Split apple rock would be my least appealing option to kayak. Its in a much more accessible and built up area.

Ballarat, Australia
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8. Re: kayaking vs mailboat in park, Dec vs Nov, skip islands?

I can't remember ever being in Abel Tasman and not seeing a few seals at least.

The islands are pretty. IMO half the point of being on the water is so you can explore the islands! Around Tonga Bay is the marine reserve, so a good place to be on the water.

Along the track every section is beautiful, hard to go wrong. It will be quieter north of Totaranui as many hikers only go as far as Totaranui. You can get the water taxi to drop you at Mutton Cove and walk back to Totaranui from there - this gives you the longest cruise but then you only have about four hours for the walk and relaxing/exploring on the beaches. Doing one of the sections closer to Marahau gives you the advantage of more time on the ground between the first boat out and last boat back. Another option is to walk back to Marahau from Anchorage, then you have all day, and can take as much time as you like for swims at the beaches along the way.

Ohio
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9. Re: kayaking vs mailboat in park, Dec vs Nov, skip islands?

Oh, thanks everybody for your replies. Its been very helpful to me. Because of your input I have decided to include the islands, and to make that island Tonga Island. We will go with Sea Kayak Co on the 1 day trip which takes water taxi to Onetahuti, kayak to Tonga Island and then down to Bark Bay. At Bark Bay we will do self guided walk to Anchorage, and then water taxi back to start.

Ideally I would prefer the walking part would be north of Totaranui, but I don't see any way to do that in the some day as the kayak to Tonga Island. We do have a car but that doesn't seem to help with this.

By the way, I am planning to stay in Nelson as it seems to have so many friendly people and it will be centrally located to explore the Marlborough region as well as the park.

For Marlborough, I definitely want to go to the famous wine region, and have only 1/2 day to explore the sounds. If you know a good way to explore the sounds or something specially nice to do in the sounds, please let me know.

I appreciate all the help youve given me. Thank you.

Nelson-Tasman...
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10. Re: kayaking vs mailboat in park, Dec vs Nov, skip islands?

A great trip you have planned and I think the best area of park. It wont be too busy at that time of the year. I definitely recommend a cruise in the marlborough sounds as well. Plenty of companies that provide transport. check out this website www.qctrack.co.nz/operators/transport.asp

Definitely do a tour that goes to ship cove, it is furtherest, but interesting to look around. you may even see dolphins, or if really lucky orcas, but they usually come in for the stingrays in jan.

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