Abel Tasman National Park is New Zealand’s top sea kayaking spot. It is an extremely popular activity with many backpackers and there are a large number of kayaking operators to choose from. Most companies rent kayaks and also operate guided trips. One of the highlights is the Tonga Island Marine Reserve where you can often see seals between March and October.
If you’re considering a multi-day trip, rentals are by far the cheapest option; but guided trips are a good option if you’re new to kayaking. A one-day guided trip followed by a multi-day rental is a good compromise that gives you the best of both worlds.
Many companies prohibit solo hire and require that at least someone in your group have some kayaking experience.
The following companies run guided kayaking trips and many also rent kayaks.
Abel Tasman Kayaks
Abel Tasman Kayaks operate a range of guided kayaking trips, a three-day guided kayaking trip for $650 and a three day trip that includes one day hiking, a one-day guided kayak and one day of independent kayaking.
Kaiteriteri Kayak run highly recommended day trips to Big Tonga Marine Reserve that cost $199. They also have the option of water taxi assisted day trips where you are taken by water taxi to some of the best areas in the park to explore by kayak. These trips give you the best experience you can get on a single day trip. Kaiteriteri’s Aqua Taxi assisted day trips cost $180–189.
Kaiteriteri also have kayak and walk combos that combine hiking and kayaking, allowing you to experience both the park from both the land and sea. One day kayak and walk trips cost $139 and two-day trips cost $195.
Kahu Kayaks rent kayaks and run guided kayaking trips. One day kayaking trips cost $215 and kayak and walk combos that cost $110 for a day trip. Rental costs are one day $75, two days $115, three days $155, four days $180 and $200 for five days.
Marahau Sea Kayaks
Marahau Sea Kayaks run guided one-day kayaking trips and they also rent kayaks for overnight trips.
The Sea Kayak Company
The Sea Kayak Company run guided single and multi-day trips and also rent kayaks. One day kayaking trips cost $109–220; kayak and walk day trip combos cost $209; two-day trips cost $405–450; three-day trips cost $595–650 and four-day trips cost $840. Rental costs are two days $120, three days $150, four days $180 and five days $200.