Best backpacking trails in Nelson-Tasman, New Zealand

281 Reviews
Explore the most popular backpacking trails in Nelson-Tasman with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.
Map of backpacking trails in Nelson-Tasman, New Zealand
Top trails (15)
#1 - Abel Tasman Great Walk: Takapou to Marahau
Abel Tasman National Park
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Length: 33.8 mi • Est. Multi-day
The easiest and most popular of the Great Walks, this hike still provides a challenge that is well worth it. There are no peaks on this hike but there is still a lot of elevation gain, and with a pack, this hike will still be challenging. The months of February and April are slightly quieter than the busiest periods, yet still offer an ideal temperature to be on the coast. The hike is well travelled and has signage but can be muddy at times. You will need to consult a tide chart as Onetahuti beach and Awaroa estuary are only passable at low tide. Allow 5 days to hike this trail. This trail can be traversed in either direction. Great Walks huts have bunk beds (being a sleeping bag), heaters, and bathroom facilities (no hot water). You will need to provide your own bedding, and all cooking supplies and stoves. You should also bring a headland to be safe. There are no showers. New Zealand rate ƒ$38 (1 October – 30 April) per adult per night; 17 years and under free (booking required).ƒ $32 (1 May – 30 September) per adult per night; 17 years and under free (booking required). International rate ƒ $75 (1 October – 30 April) per person per night for all ages (booking required). ƒ $32 (1 May – 30 September) per adult per night; 17 years and under free (booking required). Great Walks campsites have toilets, water, and picnic areas. New Zealand rate $15 per adult per night; 17 years and under free (booking required). International rate ƒ$30 (1 October – 30 April) per person per night for all ages (booking required). ƒ $15 (1 May – 30 September) per adult per night, 17 years and under free (booking required).Show more
#2 - Heaphy Track
Kahurangi National Park
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Length: 44.3 mi • Est. Multi-day
The Heaphy Track is a remote hike in the north-west of South Island. It is the longest Great Walk and most diverse. What makes it so interesting is the variety of scenery: bush, mountains, streams and waterfalls, caves, tussock plains, ocean and beaches with palm trees and wonderfully blue water. The four to five day trail follows a historic, scenic highway from the inland forests across a high rolling plateau. Best time is mid-February through March.Show more
#3 - Yellow Point via Abel Tasman Coastal Track
Abel Tasman National Park
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Length: 9.3 mi • Est. 5 h 2 m
Great trail. Amazing when its lightly raining. Running or hiking is great. Visit the little coves along the way for some spectacular beaches.Show more
#4 - Travers-Sabine Circuit
Nelson Lakes National Park
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Length: 46.2 mi • Est. Multi-day
The Travers-Sabine Circuit in Nelson Lakes Regional Park is a four to eight day trip with huts along the way to stay in. The terrain is sometimes easy and straight, sometimes demanding with lots of roots, numerous smaller climbs and descends, and sometimes hard when you have to fight your way through windfall or non-existing parts of the track that the river has claimed. Travers Saddle is an alpine region, so you might encounter rain, fog, and snow even in Summer. When in doubt, it is better to stay in the hut. https://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/places-to-go/nelson-tasman/places/nelson-lakes-national-park/things-to-do/tracks/travers-sabine-circuit/Show more
#5 - Gibbs Hill Inland Track and Coast Track
Abel Tasman National Park
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Length: 13.8 mi • Est. 7 h 42 m
#6 - Angelus Circuit
Nelson Lakes National Park
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Length: 24.3 mi • Est. Multi-day
Wonderful forest, sparkling cascades, a magnificent glacial lake in a snowy setting - this circuit has it all.Show more
#7 - Robert Ridge Trail to Speargrass Trail Loop
Nelson Lakes National Park
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Length: 18.8 mi • Est. 11 h
This loop climbs Roberts Ridge out to Lake Angelus and returns via Speargrass Track. On the first section along Roberts Ridge, the trail is mostly flat along alpine meadow with occasional scrambles over boulders, be sure to carry enough water for the day as there is no where to refill until you reach camp at Lake Angelus. Returning via Speargrass Track is through dense forest terrain which might have some overgrown sections and can be very muddy, especially near river crossings. Show more
#8 - Abel Tasman Coast Track
Motueka, Nelson-Tasman, New Zealand
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Length: 26.0 mi • Est. Multi-day
#9 - Holyoaks Clearing Shelter and Akserson Bay Loop
Abel Tasman National Park
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Length: 15.0 mi • Est. 8 h 30 m
#10 - Observation Beach via Abel Tasman Coastal Track
Abel Tasman National Park
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Length: 11.1 mi • Est. 6 h
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