Abel Tasman National Park is a national park located at the north end of the South Island of New Zealand. It is named after Abel Tasman, who in 1642 became the first European explorer to sight New Zealand.
Located in the Nelson Region on the northern tip of New Zealand's South Island. The park is closed to vehicles, and access is either on foot (from one of the various carparks mentioned below) or by boat, or if you've got money to spend it is possible to charter a helicopter or small plane (Awaroa only).
Some of the land in the park is privately owned - mainly in Awaroa Bay and Torrent Bay. It is important to remember this when visiting the park - the locals are friendly but they don't want loads of travellers walking through their backyards all the time! However these areas are clearly marked so you shouldn't have any problems.
The most notable features of the park are its beaches. The golden sands bring many visitors, some for just a day, others for overnight trips. However, moving away from the beaches and inland, the park is mountainous and rough.
Some areas of the park are very tidal. Watch out in particular for the estuaries at Torrent Bay and Awaroa - these can drain almost completely at low tide! So be aware of this before anchoring your boat in some places. In fact, at low tide it is possible to walk from Torrent Bay to Anchorage by walking across the empty estuary - this takes about 25 minutes, whereas the track around the outside of the estuary takes closer to 2 hours.
Covering an area of only 225.3 km² (87.0 sq mi) (55,699 acres), the park is the smallest of New Zealand's national parks. It consists of forested, hilly country to the north of the valleys of the Takaka and Riwaka Rivers, and is bounded to the north by the waters of Golden Bay and Tasman Bay.