Scenic Cruise – Abel Tasman National Park, NZ

Six hours cruising along the coast of Abel Tasman National Park was one of the absolute highlights of our extended New Zealand vacation. Out on the Maria Antonina, with skipper Rod Stuart from Abel Tasman Charters, we enjoyed non-stop sunshine and scenery. Over the course of the day we spotted several seals, lots of birds (including a trio of Little Blue Penguins), a couple of stingrays and lots of fish. We were treated to a fantastic picnic lunch, did a bit of sea kayaking at Onetahuti Bay, enjoyed a short side trip (via dingy) to explore Shag Harbour and stopped for a while at Anchorage Bay so that we could walk the 2.5 km Pitt Head loop to a couple of viewpoints. Words cannot adequately convey how beautiful it was; I’ll let our photographs speak for themselves…

Our cruise started and ended at Stephens Bay Reserve, Kaiteriteri

Out on the water

Sea kayaking at Onetahuti Bay

Side trip to Shag Harbour

Stop at Anchorage Bay to walk the Pitt Head loop

The beach at Stephens Bay was quite busy when our fabulous cruise came to an end. And we must have been quite a sight, hopping and tiptoeing our way across the burning hot sand! But other than that, it was as close to perfect as a day can get. If your schedule and budget allow, we highly recommend contracting with Abel Tasman Charters for a scenic cruise along the coast of Abel Tasman National Park. They will gladly fine-tune the itinerary to include more or less walking, snorkeling, more kayaking time, etc. And the on-board picnic lunch was excellent, too.

And to top it all off, Mother Nature brought the day to a close with another fabulous sunset…


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