Once you’ve made the effort to get to New Zealand, there’s no doubt you’ll be spending time on or near the water. The money we saved on our airfare to Kiwi country — in the midst of their summer (amazingly) — meant that we had extra cash to put into kayak, catamaran and even jet boating tours. New Zealand, after all, is known for outdoor adventure.

In the Abel Tasman National Park, located near the tip of the southern island, the kayaking is simply spectacular.

Kayaking in Abel Tasman National Park, New Zealand

Turquoise-green waters and idyllic white sand beaches provide the backdrop to an amazing experience. We went through Kahu Kayaks for an unguided half-day tour priced at less than US$100 for the two of us.

Our little journey began adjacent to the town of Marahau, which serves as a gateway to Abel Tasman. We hugged the coast to take in as much of the beautiful shoreline as we could, and then headed a short distance south and across the bay to uninhabited Adele Island, where seals spend the day sunning themselves on the rocks. With all the beauty that this area has to offer, I don’t blame them for staying put. To view a few more of our Abel Tasman kayaking photos, see below…

Ferns and foliage hug the waterline in Abel Tasman.
Abel Tasman’s green hues — both on land and sea — will amaze you.

Look closely for the seal — sunning himself on the rocks.