Abel Tasman Independent Guides

Abel Tasman Independent Guides


47 Rankers Reviews

31 Face-to-Face

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South IslandNelson RegionAbel Tasman


  • Sea Kayaking


Showing 8 reviews of 44.

Peter's avatar


Ranking: 9/10

Independent guides provides the most equipment to get you ready for sea kayaking. Best of all, Mitch makes sure you're sea-worthy, with an in-depth briefing, before letting you go out to sea by yourself. Independent guides also has perhaps the best rate for freedom kayak hires at the Marahau/Abel Tasman NP area. Highly recommended.

Reviewed about 2 years ago

Fred's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

We had a great experience with this company. Good equipment (though gloves and boots could use replacing), great kayak and gear, good service and nice owner. Highly recommended!

Reviewed over 2 years ago

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Shelly's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

The sea kayaking with independent guide was amazing! We had a late start, since we came in to do kayaks in the late morning, but that was no problem, and the guy gave us a discount for the day. We got a really good and lovly instraction breaf :)
On the way back we got caught late and the owner of the kayaks waited for us and was super cool about! Just took us back to the van and even offered us a hot shower!
The equipment was very professional and clean.
Very good experience for us :)

Reviewed over 2 years ago

Andrea's avatar


Ranking: 6/10

We did kayaking in the low season, (May). Almost all the equipment was thrown on the ground, badly kept, dirty, full of holes. If you keep the activity open even in the low season, you need to have equipment ready. Not all around the property and dirty. We had to look for gloves (broken), shoes (broken) between leaves, sand and dirt. 6/10 Just because the place was beautiful, a beautiful day with the sun. Otherwise it was a 3/10. I repeat, if you keep it open, you need to be ready to receive the customer. Equipment too old anyway.

Reviewed over 2 years ago

Kazz Basma's avatar

Kazz Basma

Ranking: 10/10

I had the best day of my trip out on the water with Independent guides (and especially our guide, Richard). We covered a huge amount of ground (24 km!), visited islands and had great beach breaks (one for coffee and biscuits, another for lunch) and saw baby seals playing and sting ray. He explained the wildlife and history of the area as we went, and was incredibly knowledgable about it all - even Maori folklore! The whole day was positive, sunny and fun, and quite relaxing considering how far we'd been. The day ended with a BBQ and beers at their HQ where we started, it was really just a perfect day and highly recommended! :)

Reviewed almost 4 years ago

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David Jenen's avatar

David Jenen

United States

Ranking: 10/10

We had a great experience with Independent Guides Sea Kayaking. My husband and I were staying at the Old Macdonald holiday park and due to the logistical convenience (literally right next door) we used this kayaking service. It did not start out as a weather friendly morning but our guide, Troy, was positive and got our moods up in no time. He truly made our experience feel like an adventure and was positive the weather would change, in due time. He knew the Abel Tasman coastline extremely well. Giving us knowledge about the animals, fish, forestry and history of the area, etc. He honestly made this experience a 10 for us. And he was right, the weather turned out to be beautiful come afternoon! Mitch, the owner, hosted a barbecue that evening for those of us that took part in the days kayaking. It was so fun and nice to catch up with everyone, including the tour guides. He grilled chicken, sausages, chips donuts, and even provided beers and soda and supplied everything free of charge. We also had cockles that are specific to this area and were delicious! It was a perfect way to end the day. I feel for the individuals previously that posted a negative review but I can say with 100% confidence we had the exact opposite experience. Would do it again in a heartbeat! Thanks Troy and Mitch!

Reviewed almost 5 years ago

Jolien's avatar



Ranking: 7/10

Good information, lovely people Gear is a bit old though. A beautiful trip.

Reviewed over 4 years ago and experienced in December 2016

Morten's avatar



Ranking: 1/10

Sadly, this is not a good review.

Background: Got up very late, so knew we by far had missed the full day kayak tours, but asked the selling agent if it was possible to do half a day. That was no problem, he spoke good about doing half a day and gave us a discount - seemed very eager to sell the half day kayak to my wife and I.

Got down to the place at Old McDonalds Farm and was met by our "guide" (a young guy, no need to mention names). He seemed in a hurry, but did not explain why, so initially we did not understand we had to hurry (because of the tide coming in we found out later). We prepared some food for the kayak, put sunscreen on etc. Apparently our guide thought we were slow (although he had not told us to hurry) and got pissed, so from then on he was very rude, commanding and in no way welcoming. He even at one time said that we were "bad timing" because he had been on a lunch break! (Nice way to treat a customer :-) Funny thing was that we in no way pushed for going on the trip, we just asked and the selling agent was very positive. If it was such a problem, they could just have said no. He told us, we needed an hour for instructions on the beach, but because we were in such a hurry, we only got 10 minutes of very poor instructions before we were asked to get into the kayak and go off. Simply not okay, and they even advertise to have the best and safest instructions.

Anyway, we got on the water and joked about the guide maybe had been hangry because of the missed lunch. I honestly exspected an apology when we got back some hours later, but our guide continued being very rude, switching between ignoring us and insulting us. We were pretty shocked so decided we just wanted to get away - in hindsight I should have sat down with our guide and told him what I write above, but we simply just wanted to get away.

A shame, because the kayaking we got to do was lovely!

Reviewed almost 5 years ago