Abel Tasman Inland-Coastal CircuitIntermediate - Experienced
Submitted by Mike Steel
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Front country - easily accessible
Native bushBeachCoastalRiversideOpen tussock/grasslands
Intermediate - Experienced
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A circuit trip from Marahau, combining the main sections of the inland and coastal Abel Tasman tracks. It is day of contrast - a morning on a bush-clad high ridge in relatively remote country, and an afternoon on a scenic coastal track weaving between the happy tourists and golden beaches. You need low tide in the afternoon to get across Awaroa Inlet.
From Marahau, run a short distance along the Coastal track and pick up the Inland track that climbs gently then more ruggedly up past Holyoake Clearing (shelter) and on to Castle Rock Hut (fill up with water) and onto 1000m high Evans Ridge. From here it is a pleasant undulating run along the tops (no views, no water, but nice forest) to the Awapoto Hut (water), and then an undulating descent to the gravel road at Pigeon Saddle (33.1km to this point). Turn right and head down the gravel road towards Awaroa and take the Waiharakeke Track that descends to the Coastal Track. Turn right and cross the Awaroa Inlet (low tide!) and on to the Awaroa Lodge for a 'freshen up' (coffee and cake). Fill up with some water here, then follow the uber-popular coastal track for the pleasant 30km plod back to Marahau, with plenty of bays along the way to take a refreshing splash into the sea.
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Features of interest
Abel Tasman National Park.
Make Up of Run
Technical Single Track: 20%
Moderate Single Track: 30%
Easy Single Track: 45%
Gravel Road: 5%
Drive through Marahau and follow the road to the large DOC carpark on the right at the start of the Abel Tasman coastal track.
Plenty of parking. Many cars likely to be parked here (but plenty of space).
Make navigation of this route super-easy by using the RunHunters app on your phone. View on RunHunters .
Take a topomap. On the inland track avoid turn-offs that lead to Caanan Downs or Wainui Track. On the coastal track there are various 'high tide' routes in places, which are longer (avoid the high-tide route at Awaroa). If Torrent Bay is low, run directly across the mud flats, else there is a longer high-tide alternative.
Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival blanket, Cellphone, Map, Headtorch and spare batteries.
Limited water - available at huts on inland track, and at Awaroa lodge (drinking from streams on the Abel Tasman is probably not recommended).
Nice in summer (but lots of walkers on the Coastal Track - though it's much quieter after around 4pm). But can be run in most seasons in good weather, provided the tides are right.
Plan your timing according to the tides - an afternoon low tide is essential to cross the Awaroa Inlet (cross within an hour or two of low tide). If you run into problems there (or on the coastal track) you can always catch a boat back to Marahau.
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