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All reviews tonga island marine reserve ab fab bark bay water taxi abel tasman stopped for lunch open water on the rocks fantastic trip split apple rock anchorage bay national park great guide saw seals highly recommend this trip paddling
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Reviewed 6 May 2013

Everything ran very smoothly and our guide, Anton, was extremely friendly and knowledgable, making everyone feel very comfortable. Did the "AbFab" kayak and hike combination, and were glad we chose it. A few hours of paddling can be pretty tiring, and I think an entire day would have been too much.

After paddling to an island to see plenty of sea lions, we then wound up at a beautiful beach for lunch, with Anton providing lots of stories and insight into the area along the way. The lunch, which we purchased from the Sea Kayak company, was pretty good -- sandwich, piece of fruit and carrot cake as I recall. Following lunch we were given directions on how to follow the hiking trail to a meet up point, which was pretty easy to follow. Absolutely loved the hike, which wasn't overly strenuous and provided lots of great views of the water and beaches along the way. Was paired up with another couple, who were fun and nice to talk to.

Really like the combination of kayaking and hiking, which helps one experience the beauty of Abel Tasman better in my opinion. Highly recommended!

Date of experience: April 2013
Thank grabowcp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 April 2013

We recently did a full day walk/kayak in the Abel Tasman national park. I was a bit confused about the whole booking process, but it all worked out ok in the end. I originally had hoped to do the "Best of both Worlds" tour but was redirected to a shorter walk/kayak tour by the Aqua Taxi Co. From what I have worked out, they were responsible for our aqua taxi transfers and the Sea Kayak co...for the kayaking part of the tour. Either way, it all went very smoothly and professionally.

We woke up in Nelson with sunny skies and no wind thinking we had lucked out for our Abel Tasman day.....however, the closer we got to Motueka the closer we got to the only black, looming cloud in the sky....by the time we located the Sea Kayak Centre, it was really overcast. It is a very fun day from the start. We were seperated into various boats attached to tractors, depending on the type of tour we were doing. They then towed us along the road to the beach and out to the water as it was a very low tide. We picked up a few more passengers at Kaiteteri and I got absolutely soaked on the boat ride there....the boat was full and there was no where to get out of the weather. This was also the only opportunity we got to see the Split Apple rock, as we never were taken on the promised sightseeing tour of the park??? It was raining so heavy that we didn't hang around and we didn't mind because it really is just a rock with a big split in it! By the time we reached the beach in Torrent Bay, the rain had eased off. However, we quickly realised that getting from the boat to the beach was another wet affair. Off came the shoes and socks and I was cursing my decision of wearing long pants...even though the climate called for them. A couple of young girls got carried to the sand but I got to jump straight in and wade up to my nether regions in water....no-one told us about this bit! We then had to hike from Torrent Bay to Bark Bay. At this point I was seriously thinking of getting back on the boat but I'm glad I didn't. It was a bit miserable at first trudging along with soaking wet daks but we soon were more interested in the beautiful surrounds, the lush rainforest and the glimpses of bays on the walk. The walk is fairly steep at the start but tapers off into quite an easy stroll. We must have been walking way faster than the norm because we did the whole hike in way less time than quoted. The swing bridge is a really cool break to the hike and a good photo opportunity. By the time we walked down to Bark bay the skies were brighter but, alas, the wind was up.

We were greeted by Toby, our guide, on the beach and he had a nice lunch waiting for us. He was fabulous as our guide. He is confident without being cocky and made the afternoon paddle really enjoyable even though the conditions were far from ideal. We were actually glad that they went ahead with the kayak, as they said it was borderline on whether it was good to go out. We have done a bit of paddling in the past and really enjoyed the extra challenge of kayaking through waves. I got air a few times which was fun. Some of the other people in our group had no experience but still managed really well. So well, in fact, that Toby decided to let us battle the chop in the water and visit the seals on Pinnacle Island. Instead of paddling North to Onetahuti as planned, we had to paddle back the way we had walked to Anchorage just because of the swell. Even so, there was enough to see to keep us happy. We did a bit of a trip up an estuary and had a play in a couple of rapids and the paddle out of here back into the bay was so much fun due to the rough conditions. We were all soaked again by the time we landed at Anchorage. Luckily our Aqua taxi was only minutes away and we all clambered on board for a cold, rough ride back to base.

So, all in all, this could have been a disastrous trip but we dug in and made the most of it and had fun in the process. I can't speak highly enough of the young guide, Toby. He is great at what he does and we hope to go back and visit again on a day that looks a lot more like their glossy brochures!

Date of experience: April 2013
Thank Jalaky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 March 2013

Great value for this tour. great teachers who take the time to show you everything, with practice and who comes with you on the sea for the first waves... very and rare professionnals ! Kayaks were ok...a little bit old maybe...

Date of experience: March 2013
1  Thank GuideB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 March 2013

Great guide (Harley), weather and food made this spectacularly beautiful trip really special. We were educated, taken good care of, and fed in fine style. One of the best organized and overall excellent kayak trips we have ever been on. Would highly recommend the Sea Kayak Company to others seeking this type of experience.
Sandy and Brian, Canada

Date of experience: March 2013
2  Thank Brian B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 March 2013

My son (young adult) and I did the Ab Fab Paddle with the Sea Kayak Company back in December and thought it was an amazing day. We were picked up from our accommodation in Nelson (extra cost) by bus and driven to the Sea Kayak Company base where we were organised into our tour groups, given our safety gear and introduced to our guide for the paddle.
After slapping on the suntan cream we were driven to the launching ramp to board the water taxi.
Once all the passengers and kayaks were loaded onto the water taxi we left on our trip to Onetahuti Beach where we began our kayak trip back to Bark Bay via Tonga island. The weather had started out a bit overcast but got better as the day progressed. The picnic lunch at Bark Bay was thoroughly enjoyable and provided us with enough of a rest before setting off on the walk back to Anchorage. We were lucky that the tide was out in the afternoon and we were able to take the short cut across the beach at the final bay, but I did wish that I had brought a pair of thongs or sea shoes so that my walking shoes (bare feet not recommended) did not get wet walking across this section. The water taxi picked us up from Anchorage and ferried us back to Marahua where we caught the bus back to Nelson. The staff at the Sea Kayak Company were good and I was impressed by the effeciency of the Abel Tasman AquaTaxi people in getting their boats both in and out of the water. A long but memorable day!

Date of experience: December 2012
1  Thank Travel4me070
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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