Wade the Awaroa River and feel the sand between your toes on the estuary crossing. The rata forest at this northern end of the park is for many the best forest of all. And more golden beaches at Waiharakeke, Goat Bay and Totaranui.
Check tide times https://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/places-to-go/nelson-tasman/places/abel-tasman-national-park/things-to-do/tracks/abel-tasman-coast-track/tide-tables to work when you can cross the Awaroa Estuary.
Awaroa is a pick up point, either at the southern end by the gantry or middle of the beach. Totaranui coastal access point is in the middle of the beach by the DoC visitor centre and toilets.
The Awaroa Estuary is the only point on the Coast Track which requires you to wait for low tide. Nature rules. No bridges, high tide tracks or boats. The preferred place to cross is opposite the hut, between the large orange triangles. But the dynamic is constantly shifting, so get best advice from DoC staff at the hut or just follow the flock.
A series of stunning beaches lines the coast to Totaranui. Waiharakeke is fringed by a flax swamp, site of an old flaxmill and tramway. Some fine rata forest is bedazzling in crimson during December and contrasts with the deep forest greens behind Goat Bay. The rocks at the southern end of Goat Bay are impassable on big high tides with stormy easterly swells. There is no other option than to wait for the tide. Or risk being pulverised to mince meat after being bowled by a wave. More huge rata and rimu mark the steep climb out on a recently constructed track nicknamed Weka Pass. Skinner Point is your welcome to Totaranui before the small descent to the large camping area that covers most of the area behind the beach.
South Island ▷ Nelson Region ▷ Abel Tasman
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Thanks to all the good people working for the NZ Department of Conservation - for all your hard work - making NZ more beautiful, accessable and healthy! Cheers 😍