Kayak New Zealand

top of the South Island

Saturday February 4 to Sunday February 12, 2023 
Includes quality lodge and hotel accommodation, most meals, kayaks, & guiding.

9 days just $3995

Abel Tasman National Park
and Marlborough Sounds


Sheltered coves and islands offer some the  best sea kayaking territory in the world. Abel Tasman National Park is home to New Zealand  Fur SeIils and a wealth of birdlife, including the Little Blue Penguin. The Marlborough Sounds encompasses 20% of New Zealand’s total coastline. Within the area is pristine native forest  – ranging from towering 800 year old rimu trees,  to lush punga tree ferns and beautiful native orchids. The myriad of bay, coves and inlets are perfect for exploring by kayak. The Abel Tasman Coast Track winds through sunny forest groves, tranquil fern grottos and along pristine, golden beaches perfect for walking and swimming.  


Freedom Outdoors offers you the opportunity to experience these adjacent waterways and Marlborough’s famous wine country over 9 unforgettable days. All just 3 hours flying time from the East Coast of Australia. 

Highlights Include


  • Accommodation and meals at quality hotels, motels and lodges – no camping.

  • Seals, dolphins and penguins a common sight.

  • Guided by experienced locals familiar with the astonishing Maori and European history of the area.  

  • Scenic cruise along the length of the spectacular Abel Tasman coastline. Expect lovely weather and temps in the mid-20s. 

  • Perfect mix of kayaking to islands and beaches and bushwalking on pristine trails.

  • All modern, top quality kayak gear supplied with full instruction and safety briefing.

  • The personal involvement of a Freedom Outdoors host whose sole responsibility is to ensure you are having a great time. 


Every day is different - every day is special.

Saturday February 4:

Fly Sydney to Marlborough Airport via Wellington. Virgin, Air New Zealand, Qantas and Jetstar fly the route (3 hours). Connect with a 30-minute Air New Zealand flight to Blenheim (3 daily). An alternative is the famous inter-island ferry through the Marlborough Sounds to Picton - runs 3 times or more daily. Or you could fly to Christchurch, then to Marlborough or drive it (5 hours) or take a bus. New Zealand time is two hours ahead of Sydney. You will require a passport. The Kiwis have their own currency. Major credit cards are accepted and 

there are ATMs everywhere. You can drive on an Australian licence. Overnight at the well-appointed Gateway, in the heart of Picton. As we’ll all be arriving at different times, no group dinner is organised tonight. Enjoy fine New Zealand cuisine at a nearby restaurant. 



Sunday February 5:

Today we start our guided paddle through the Marlborough Sounds. Pack an overnight bag and leave your suitcase in Picton. We’ll be back here Monday. Close by is Le Café, where we’ll gather for breakfast and our pre-trip briefing. Then all aboard our kayaks for a stunning day on water ranging in colour from the brightest turquoise to the deepest green, with a backdrop of overhanging native tree ferns, rata vines and beech trees. Mid-afternoon  we arrive at our accommodation, Lochmara Lodge. Here you’ll enjoy an excellent evening meal and hear about the fascinating work the staff do in wildlife recovery. The lodge is beautiful. Your accommodation here and throughout the trip is ensuite. 

Monday February 6:

After a nourishing breakfast, we continue our journey through the Sounds. You’ll visit bays, coves and inlets 

in this wonderful maze of waterways. Your local guides will share their knowledge of the abundant wildlife and natural flora as you paddle along. Late afternoon you’ll arrive at Picton, where a coach will take the group on a 30 minute drive into the heart of the Marlborough wine country for a night at the  stunning new Vintners Hotel  luxury amongst the vines. No group dinner tonight the nearest cellar door is WhiteHaven located opposite the hotel in the Vines Village. You can eat there too. Cloudy Bay is 3-minute drive away. Or have a bite to eat in your room and  grab an early night. Whatever you decide to do, enjoy a Marlborough white! 

Tuesday February 7:

Your Abel Tasman National Park adventure starts this morning. Be ready for our early morning coach departure from Vintners for Motueka and the Park (2 hours scenic drive). We’ve been bringing Aussie paddlers here since 2012. Basking under the most sunshine hours in the country, this sheltered coast is renowned for great scenery, world class food, wine, beer and art.


Local partners the Wilson family, has 

been welcoming visitors to the region since1841. The family operates the only Lodge accommodation right on the beachfront within  the National Park. Their highly skilled guides will entertain you with fascinating insights into the cultural and natural history told through the personal stories of the Wilson family’s ancestors who were among the first British settlers the region.  We catch the 1pm Vista 

Cruise departing Kaiteriteri for a fast, safe, comfortable journey along the National Park coastline. Hot & cold drinks, open and enclosed viewing decks and bathroom facilities on board. 2.30pm arrival at Totaranui to walk approx 2-hours south through forests of  podocarp and rata and along secluded northern beaches to our overnight ensuite accommodation the beautiful Meadowbank Homestead at Awaroa, a faithful re-creation of the Wilson family’s original home on the finest site in Awaroa Bay. 

Wednesday February 8:

Today we explore Awaroa and kayak the nearby estuary (2 hours paddling). This is the largest tidal inlet on the coast. Other options include visiting early European and pre-European historical sites with up to 4 hours walking or you may choose to unwind on  the beach and enjoy the comforts of Meadowbank Homestead. Take a “day off” anytime. 

Thursday February 9:

Many highlights as we paddle between Awaroa and Torrent Bay. 4 hours of paddling (17km) or we might decide to shorten the journey by walking sections of the coast track or even catch the Vista Cruise. We depart Awaroa by kayak at 9am, to travel to Tonga Island to view the antics at its resident seal colony, then spend the rest of the day beach hopping south along the coast, taking in points of interest:  Shag harbor, Tonga Quarry, Bark Bay, Falls River, Frenchman’s Bay. Lunch will be at an idyllic bay where we’ll relax, explore, swim or sunbathe on the golden sand. The scenery will astound you –one beautiful beach after another, islands and bushclad hilltops. We may even see some other kayakers!  Overnight at Torrent Bay Lodge. This was the Wilson family’s holiday home, now tastefully extended and renovated to include all modern comforts whist keeping its relaxed, beach holiday atmosphere. The garden setting is beautiful. 

Friday February 10:

Lots to do from our picturesque base at Torrent Bay.  Kayak in the estuary (tide dependant) or walk to visit  the peaceful grotto of Cleopatra's Pool (up to 5 hours, 10kms). Options include walking to the water- falls on Falls River or to the golden beaches of Anchorage and Te Pukatea, visiting historic Maori sites at Pitt Head. Or simply relax on the golden sands of Torrent Bay. If the wind comes up, you might get to experience kayak sailing. We tie the kayaks together, erect the sail – and let her rip! 

Saturday February 11:

Our last full day in paradise as we paddle the 12kms from Torrent Bay to Kaiteriteri. As we go we’ll discover pristine bays, beaches and islands named by French explorer, Dumont D’Urville in 1827. Our group will stop for lunch at any one of the bays, then continue. A coach meets us at Kaiteriteri mid-afternoon to return to Motueka and then Nelson at 5.30pm.  Nelson is the second oldest city settled in New Zealand. It was proclaimed by royal charter in 1858. Maori settlement started in the 14th century.  Nelson was named in honour of the Admiral  Horatio Nelson and many roads and public areas around the city are named after his ships and crew. Take a late flight out tomorrow and visit the cathedral, the historic quarter in South Street, the stately homes, picturesque Queens Gardens or the beaches before you go. Rent a bike – it has excellent cycleways. We like to end our  Freedom Outdoors trips with a flourish, so tonight we are at the impressive Hotel Nelson in the centre of the city. The staff will be waiting to greet us. Time to shower, change and gather in the hotel restaurant for our final dinner. We’ll relive a wonderful week together.

Sunday February 12:

Check-out of the Hotel Nelson mid-morning for your return to Australia or a continuation of your travel in New Zealand. This concludes your Freedom Outdoors holiday.

All this for only $3,995 per person 

Your package includes meals as specified, share twin/double with ensuite accommodation, day pack, transfer of luggage, launch cruise, professional guiding, quality sea kayaks and accessories, coach transfers from Picton and back to Nelson. Launch transport if you decide to shorten any day’s walking and the involvement of a Freedom Outdoors host. Excludes flights from and to Australia, any additional travel you do in New Zealand and personal expenses you may incur.  

Single supplement $1,795. 

Booking and Payment Procedures: 

Email Tony at tonycarr@ozemail.com.au or call 0417 502 056. 

non-refundable deposit of $500 per person is required to secure your booking. Balance 

payable by December 10, 2022 - $3,495 and is not refundable after that date. Transfer to 

the following Westpac account, with your name in the message field: Freedom Outdoors 

BSB 032 123 Account 22 32 86 

If you do not bank electronically, payment may be made at any Westpac branch or by cheque (add $5 for  processing). No credit card payments. Limited numbers – allocations strictly in order deposit received. Cancellations  must be advised by email to Freedom Outdoors – deposit is non refundable; balance non refundable after December 10, 2022.

… and other things you should know.  


Itinerary and trip details are correct at September 22, 2021 but are subject to change. Should you decide to voluntarily alter your travel arrangements after the commencement of your trip, Freedom Outdoors is not responsible for any additional costs you may incur. Costs as published are based on the $NZ exchange rate at September 22, 2021. Should the NZ dollar appreciate by more than 5% before departure, a surcharge may be payable. While we are confident demand for this trip will be strong, if fewer than 10 people register, Freedom Outdoors may choose not to proceed. If the trip is cancelled because of Covid 19 border closures or for any other reasons, all monies paid will 

be refunded, including your deposit, less any cancellation changes levied by our local partners. 

Australian health insurance is generally not valid in New Zealand. We strongly recommend you take out a personal insurance policy to cover sickness, accident, loss of baggage, trip cancellation due to weather or any other reason and in the unlikely event you need emergency evacuation by plane or helicopter due to illness or accident.  

Your personal safety on the water is always our top priority. For that reason, it may be necessary to alter, substitute or abandon planned itineraries without advance warning. If conditions on the water are not suitable for kayaking our local partners may substitute walks. All paddlers must wear PFDs (supplied) while on the water. Trip guides will decide on safety matters, coordinate the group and advise changes. No compensation will be paid should itinerary changes be necessary. Guides will carry a first aid kit and have Senior First Aid Certification, however no doctor will accompany the group. You should ensure you are in sufficiently good health and are of at least average fitness. Guides cannot provide prescription medication. It is your responsibility to bring sufficient quantities of any specific medications you require. Those with particular dietary requirements (eg vegetarian) will be catered for. It’s a good idea to have a check-up prior to departure. Please advise any specific dietary requirements. The planned route involves remote locations and paddling on consecutive days. We strongly recommend you undertake at least three Freedom Outdoors day paddles in the three months leading up to the trip and that you attend one of the company’s Skills Workshops. Click on www.freedomoutdoors.com.au. The fitter you are and the more aware you are of paddling technique, the better you will enjoy the trip.  

This trip is not suitable for children under 14 years of age. All participants will be required to sign the standard Freedom Outdoors Risk Waiver document. Inappropriate behaviour may result in you being required to leave the trip without compensation. Neither we nor our partners will be liable for any injury, damage, loss, accident, delay or irregularity which may be occasioned, either by reason of weather, or any defect in a vehicle, vessel or through acts or defaults of any company or persons engaged in conveying passengers in or carrying out tour arrangements. Freedom Outdoors has for sale suitable dry bags, kayaking gloves and kayak shoes, which should be purchased before departure from Sydney. We recommend you bring a camera that is waterproof. Freedom Outdoors is not a travel agency. From the monies transferred by you to us, we pay the companies providing the services in New Zealand and retain an amount to cover the 

administration of your booking in Sydney.

Includes superior lodge and hotel accommodation, most meals, kayaks, & guiding. A non-refundable deposit of $500 per person is required to secure your booking. Balance due January 10, 2018.

9 days just $3095

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