Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023


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Abel Tasman Double Dip

Marahau, Tasman

Submitted by Mike Steel

Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023


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Grunt Factor: 55 ?

Gnarl Factor: 42 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible


Undulating, some big hills

Native bush




Open ridges/tops

Run Makeup


Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +8.9%

Average Downhill Gradient: -8.8%


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Estimated Times to Run







A journey from Marahau into the idyllic Abel Tasman National Park, giving a taste of both coastal track and the more remote Inland Track, coupled with a bracing plunge into Cleopatra's pool, and a second dip into the warmer ocean at Apple Tree Bay. Can be run whatever the tides.

From the large carpark at the start of the uber-popular Abel Tasman, head across the bridges that span the estuary, then follow the coastal track a short distance to where the marked Inland track branches off to the left. Leave the masses behind and follow this single track as it climbs gently up through pleasant bush before it steepens up for a couple of sections, leading to some large rocks that provide a good viewpoint.

Beyond here the gradient lessens again and passes a turn-off to your right (which you will take 16km later!) as you make your way up to Holyoake Clearing shelter (593m), then into the more lush forest that climbs and undulates gently on a more remote (but well-marked and mostly runnable) track up to Castle Rocks Hut (730m) which is a good spot to have a break/stretch. Here a marked short side track leads down and up to a spur with some big rocks and views on it, and gorse.

From Castle Rock Hut head back 8km down the way you came up and take the side-track left that drops down towards Torrent Bay. Follow this track (and signs to Torrent Bay) all the way back to the main track then turn left and follow signs to the nearby Cleopatra's pool. This lies a short distance off the main trail, and is a delightful deep pool in the river below sloping waterfalls. After a refreshing plunge in the lower and/or upper pools head back to the track and continue on the main coastal track (there's the option of dropping down to Anchorage at one point, but this is a detour).

At Apple Tree Bay, you get a second chance to get completely wet on a very pleasant golden sand beach (toilets here). Return to the main trail and follow it out the last cruisy 5.5k. The only remaining technical challenge is likely to be dodging the many day walkers with their poles and oversized packs. Right at the end of the trail there's a cafe that makes a mean banana smoothie.

Interesting rock formations. Golden sand beaches and nice rock pools/streams. Interesting mix of trail types.

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Lots of parking, though there will also be lots of cars!

2 km

3 minutes




You are on well-marked tracks the whole way, but you wouldn't want to get off-course higher up on the Inland track, so stay alert.


Short-sleeved thermal top, Windproof jacket, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival blanket, Cellphone, Map

Water at the two huts you pass on the Inland track. Water from streams might be a bit dubious especially on the coastal track. There is a tap with water at Apple Tree Bay but it says to treat or boil it.

Can be run in most conditions. Note that it will be cooler up near Castle Rock Hut than down by the coast.

Watch for tree roots in a few places on the Inland trail; also you may need to go around occasional trees blocking the trail.
In Cleopatra's pool there's an exciting/vigorous diagonal-sloping water slide (obvious only when you swim over and climb up on a rock) - you can slide down it by getting into the 'washing machine' pool between the two waterfalls, but once you start, there's no going back (and loose-fitting running shorts are likely to end up round your ankles!). Take care if you try this (risk of slight bruising on rocks).

You and Abel Tasman Double Dip

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Trail Reviews

I'm not generally in favour of out&back style runs and this run has a significant out&back with no destination unless you like hut bagging. I popped up to Castle Rock and regretted investing 10 minutes since the view is outside the park and is of felled pine forest. I had a great day out - but would recommend that others skip Castle Rock Hut.

Mark Hebberd

February 8, 2022

omg, well that was an experience and good training...for something? At least after all the tough and tumble, the coastal highway never felt so sweet :-)

Mike McManaway

February 8, 2022

A good alternative is to turn at Holyoake Clearing then when you drop down towards the coast take the first right to get back on the Coastal Track back to Marahau. Makes for a 22-23km loop.The inland Track from Hardwoods Hole down to Holyoake is so much fun, so rough and rooty :D and as Sam pointed out so good if you want some solitude.

Matt Bixley

July 9, 2020

Character building! Wasn't what I expected. I found the most runnable part of the inland track was the climb up, which I hiked in anticipation of running most of the rest of the route. The out and back I was mentally unprepared for, what I thought would be 1:45ish looking at the profile took over 2.5 hours due to countless tree roots, multiple rolled ankles and a hot new years day. Saving graces of the inland track were the bird life, the Bush (you are surrounded by it so much you can't see the amazing coastline after the track junction) and the amazingly refreshing dip in cleopatra's pool. If you want runnable and coastal views stick to the coastal track, if you want a challenge and plenty of time to yourself hit up the double dipper.

Sam Mowat

February 12, 2019

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Overlapping Trails

These overlap with this trail to some degree. You may wish to combine them but please note that to qualify for FKTs on these runs you should record a separate activity for each.

Abel Tasman OTB Marahau

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Length: 23.0km

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Length: 75.0km

Level: Intermediate - Experienced

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