Abel Tasman Kayaks was established in 1986, realising a vision to bring visitors into the glorious Abel Tasman National Park. We are the oldest kayak company in New Zealand and from the outset have developed and evolved a wide range of education based outdoor adventure and leadership experiences. The beautiful golden beaches, coves, lagoons, offshore islands, wildlife and the native forest that fringe the Abel Tasman granite coastline offer a uniquely safe environment for learning.

From primary through to tertiary education institutions, corporate groups and leadership training we offer a broad range of customised learning experiences that range from half day trips through to seven day expeditions all fully outfitted by us. Each trip is tailored to meet the specific requirements of your group. We lead the way with a strong commitment to high safety standards and experienced guides who have incredible passion and extensive local knowledge of the park.

Our trips provide personal challenges with an emphasis on fun, excitement and adventure in the outdoors for all age groups.  This transfers into building self confidence and self awareness that can be used in daily lives.

Our guides include geologists, marine biologists, geographers, photographers, team builders, leadership coaches, Maori cultural interpreters, all with years of experience in delivering adventures in the Abel Tasman National Park.  We also have an extensive list of outside speakers we can engage specifically to talk to your group. For pricing, tour options and a range of referees from around the globe feel free to contact the team at Abel Tasman Kayaks.


We offer a broad range of incredible learning experiences in the stunning Abel Tasman National Park.  Programmes range from half to five days and use sea kayaking and /or walking as the foundational activity.  Each trip is tailored to meet the specific educational and learning requirements of your school group, and by combining the highest safety standards with our inhouse road transport, water taxi services and purpose built base facilities we make this a seamless turn-key option for any educational institution.  Our aim is to ensure that both students and teachers have a meaningful experience in the outdoors regardless of their prior experience. Abel Tasman Kayaks is an approved Adventure Safety Operator with fully audited safety systems. We have a ‘ready-to-send’ NZ School Camp Safety Plan to make the planning as simple as possible for you.   Please contact us for references and more information.

We are accredited Leave No Trace training providers and can provide workshops for education groups for the awareness and trainer course.Leave No Trace courses are informative, practical, hands-on and fun.

 A comment from Motueka High School (HOD Outdoor Education teacher Gareth Wheeler)

"Motueka High School has worked with Abel Tasman Kayaks for the past 20 years. They have always provided safe, experienced, fun, knowledgeable guides and exceptional high quality kayaks and safety equipment. Abel Tasman Kayaks is well managed, carefully operated, and committed to sustainable tourism development.  I could not be happier with the service and experiences they have provided.  I give them my highest recommendation and I will always include them on any program that includes travel to the Abel Tasman National Park."

A comment from Inglewood High School (HOD Paul Adams)

"Adventuring in Abel Tasman was a breeze as our instructor AKA the 'Ginger Viking' was always with us and always happy to explain about the wild life and the environment, He was also super funny and really easy to get along with, he told us some really awesome stories and some of his experiences. I'm grateful I got to experience this with so many amazing people and would recommend this trip to anyone in an instant!"

A comment from American Universities International Programs Limited (AUIP leader Bridget Schuhmacher) 

"Personally I find you/your staff extremely helpful to work with, very flexible and responsive with a 'can-do' attitude (...even when we enquired about one student being in a wheelchair you had an attitude that did not have can't in your language!). Having been on the kayaking trip myself I can't recommend your trip highly enough. I loved every minute of it! Great pristine and beautiful scenery, good exercise, tremendously skilled and knowledgeable friendly guides! "

A comment from a student

"Spending a day adventuring with Abel Tasman Kayaks was an experience I'll never forget. My favourite part was paddling up close to the seals and learning about how the Birdsong Trust had eradicated the off-shore islands of all predators. Hiking through the national park through the biggest ferns I've ever seen was awesome. The guides were tremendous!"



We offer a range of leadership options, all designed and customised to meet your groups intentions. Experiences range from one to seven days with full flexibility. We also work closely with renowned leadership organisation Second Base  (and other providers when required) to provide bespoke programs both within the Abel Tasman National Park and the greater Nelson region.

Newly formed or existing leadership groups

For newly formed or existing leadership groups the benefits of our guided programme include establishing shared values, increasing familiarity and appreciation of each other and re-invigorating a team. 

Individuals or cross sectional teams

For organisational individuals or mixed working groups our trips can assist in disseminating organisational values, improving internal relationships, networking and enhancing organisational communication.

High performance teams

We can also assist in high performance team members helping inspire people, challenge and test them, to create an intrinsic value alignment between themselves and the organisation.


A comment from Catherine Moisan, Section Head, Natural Toxins, Cawthrom Institue

Thanks to everyone in your team who has facilitated a great day out for our Cawthron people last Thursday. A special mention goes to Josh, who gave us an outstanding, relaxed, competent tour of your beautiful “office”. It is people like him and the others in your team that enable an extra positive appreciation of our beautiful region – Thank you.

We have years of experience working with corporate's facilitating team building. We use a range of techniques fun or serious as the group dictates, which may include games or adventure challenges. We can also arrange the opportunity for your group to make meaningful contributions through local conservation initiatives either in the park or the wider Nelson region. We work closely with Second Base (and other providers when required) to help facilitate groups.  Experiences range from one to seven days with full flexibility and can be arranged as one off training or over successive trips.

A comment from Tainui Group Holdings (Former CEO, Mike Pohio)

As CEO, one of the challenges is to enhance the dynamics of the leadership team. While this is largely done in the work environment, the opportunity to boost those relationships can occur during an offsite session. In that regard, choosing a program that gets the most out of the time available is also a challenge. The whole mix of the location, setting, activities, accommodation and most importantly the facilitator or programme leader(s) is critical if you want to have an enduring effect. We chose Abel Tasman Kayaks and Second Base to develop a program specifically for us that included both facilitation of a workshop and adventure tourism for the leadership team.
In short, the whole experience was outstanding and I can thoroughly recommend them to take the time and care to match your needs with a host of options.


For all groups we provide customised itineraries. We also provide some or all of the following:

Indoor and outdoor break out spaces.

Guide(s), kayaks, paddles, buoyancy vest, spray skirt, paddle jacket, paddle, safety emergency flares, water-proof map, water pump and a spare paddle. Tents, cooking equipment, sleeping equipment. Additional items in the winter: wetsuits and wetsuit booties.

Our purpose built kayak base is ideally placed for groups to begin their kayaking adventure.  We have the best facilities in the park (free wifi, hot showers onsite, toilets, lock up for personal belongings, a large secure carpark including bus parking). We offer purpose built transfer vehicles to get you and your kayaks to the water’s edge regardless of weather or tide. 

From half day through to seven days we can work with you to coordinate all transport to ensure a seamless experience from door to door.

Nelson Airport has a range of flight options arriving from main centres around 6.30am and last departure around 7pm. 

From simply learning to work in a group through to optimising your group performance below are some of the learning outcomes you can expect from your Abel Tasman Kayaks experience.

  • Awareness of themselves and others
  • Self confidence in themselves and the outdoors
  • Leadership and teamwork
  • Group management and alignment 
  • Shared value sets
  • Leave no Trace principles
  • Kayak trip management rescue and self rescue techniques
  • Weather interpretation
  • Map  reading and interpretation
  • Marine biology
  • Ecology
  • Cultural interpretation
  • Environmental awareness and impact assessment
  • Environmental conservation and future proofing
  • Campsite management
  • Knowledge of the Abel Tasman and New Zealand


As each group we take out has its own individual requirements we customise each experience from a range of activity frameworks or bespoke trips from the ground up.

You might find yourself.....kayaking or walking or sailing or canyoning or.....

You might find yourself sleeping in a beachside campsite or on a house boat in a sheltered bay.

You might find yourself enjoying the luxury of a renowned eco-resort.

You might find yourself doing yoga to a beautiful sunrise.

You might find yourself work shopping on one of the beautiful beaches of the Abel Tasman National Park.

You might find yourself working as a team to help on an offshore Island to help assist in the preservation of endangered species.

You might find yourself engaged with one of New Zealand's biggest conservation projects.

You might find yourself out of your comfort zone.

You might find yourself sitting on the beach as the sun goes down gazing across the ocean in utter wonderment.

You will find yourself changed and inspired.

To discuss your requirements please contact us or phone us on 0800 732 529.