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Hidden spots in the Abel Tasman

Image of the October 2018 Wilderness Magazine Cover Read more from the
October 2018 Issue

The hard-to-find places no-one else knows about.

Abel Tasman National Park is our smallest national park, but it is host to the most popular Great Walk: more than 43,000 people walked the Abel Tasman Coast Track in 2017/18. But with a few tricks and a little knowledge, there is no need to feel swept up in a tourist maelstrom. There are plenty of hidden spots.

Inland Track
Around 45 minutes in from Marahau, rather than take the Coast Track, try taking the signposted Inland Track towards Castle Rock Hut. At Holyoake Clearing, head right. This drops to the back of the Torrent Bay Estuary near Cleopatra’s Pool.

Find a cave
Around the coastline there are many caves. Try searching the cliff face on the descent to The Anchorage from Torrent Bay, or following up Tonga Stream. Explore the northern end of Tonga Quarry, too.

Swimming holes
The rivers in the park are a treat. Take your pick and venture as far as you dare. Torrent River and Falls River are the best-known. Falls River Track, departing the Coast Track near Torrent Bay village, is a gem (3hr return), arriving at some beautiful swimming holes.

Historical interest
The tracks from Awaroa Hut to the Steam Engine and Old School House show a different side of Abel Tasman – away from the razzmatazz of the coast and back to the hardy days of the pioneers.

Find a deserted beach
North of Totaranui is much less visited due to the logistics of getting out at Wainui. But Mutton Cove and Anapai are some of the best beaches in the park and they’re almost empty of people.