Last Updated: 4th May 2024

Intermediate - Experienced

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I've done it Done

Abel Tasman Inland-Coastal Circuit

Coast Track, Waiharakeke Track, Inland Track

Marahau, Tasman

Submitted by Mike Steel

Last Updated: 4th May 2024

Intermediate - Experienced

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I've done it Done

Open

Grunt Factor: 98 ?

Gnarl Factor: 40 ?

75.0km

2600m

2600m

1022m

  

  

  

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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible

Loop

Very hilly

Native bush

Beach

Coastal

Riverside

Open tussock/grasslands

Run Makeup

5%
45%
30%
20%

Gravel Road

Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +11.0%

Average Downhill Gradient: -11.1%

Trailhead

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Estimated Times to Run

Not suitable

Slow

15:00

Moderate

10:00

Fast

This journey offers a day of contrast, beginning with a scenic coastal track that weaves between happy tourists, golden beaches and a bush-clad high ridge in a relatively remote country. Keep in mind that you'll need low tide to cross Awaroa Inlet. This adventure combines the main sections of the coastal and inland Abel Tasman tracks, making it a memorable circuit trip starting from Mārahau.

Starting at Mārahau, run the coastal track taking the low tide crossings at Torrent Bay and Bark Bay to Awaroa Lodge. Fill up on scones, wedges & coffee here. After the lodge and the low tide crossing to the North side of Awaroa estuary continue on the coastal track for ~1km where you turn left up Waiharakeke Track to Awaroa Road. At Awaroa Road turn right, follow Awaroa Road to Totaranui Road where you will turn left towards Pigeon Saddle. The total road section is roughly 3.5km.

From Pigeon Saddle take the Inland AT back to Mārahau via Awapoto hut, Moa shelter, Castle Rock hut & Holyoakes shelter. There is often limited water on the Inland AT so recommend filling up at Castle Rock & Awapoto huts.

Instructions are given for the anticlockwise circuit, Please choose your direction based on the time of the low tide as this will slow your progress at Torrent Bay, Bark Bay and halt your progress at Awaroa Bay. You should plan to arrive at Torrent Bay roughly 2 hours before low tide so you have 4 hours from here to cross Awaroa inlet safely. Torrent Bay is 12km from Mārahau. The Department of Conservation has tide information to assist with scheduling your departure time (this information can be found here). 

Abel Tasman National Park.

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Plenty of parking. Many cars likely to be parked here (but plenty of space).

2 km

3 minutes

Unknown

No

Moderate.

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.

Generally good.

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.

Trail Legend

Mark Hebberd

Mark Hebberd

has completed Abel Tasman Inland-Coastal Circuit once in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

Logistics were easy from Nelson, particularly as Mike McManaway cached some food/water for us at Pigeon saddle. Doing the coastal first means it's easier to time the low tide crossings. Recommended.

Mark Hebberd

October 11, 2023

Yay-30 months later and I finally got to do loop plus Tail. Starting at Pigeon Saddle has advantage of lunch at Marahau cafe. Early October and water was never a problem apart from either side of Awapoto hut (take the 2min detour to hut btw for the water and for the view). Inland track now in good condition but take your grippy shoes of course.

Mike McManaway

October 2, 2023

An absolute jewel of an adventure for top of the south! The start of the Inland track is a true slog and at times extremely overgrown with a few stream crossing and rooty scrambles, this can be very slow going. All the grunt work is well worth the reward from the top of the park though with incredible views from Porters rock look out. Water can be scarce along the way so fill up at every opportunity. If this can be done in 9hrs then that is remarkable :D it took me 17 and i was a broken man at the end haha, in saying this I'm looking forward to doing it all again with what I've leant as its truly beautiful!

Nick Lane

February 15, 2022

Yes simply stunning- I did the smaller (64km) circuit starting Pigeon Saddle and avoiding the "Marahau Tail" which cuts off a couple of hours. I'd recommend counterclockwise (ie get the gnarly bit done first) but of course tides will dictate!

Mike McManaway

April 26, 2021

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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.

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