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“Wow!”

Wilsons Abel Tasman
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Vista Cruise, Water Taxi, Walk, Sea Kayak and Beachfront Lodges in Abel Tasman National Park. Guided and self-guided Combinations to suit you, year-round. A family business welcoming visitors since 1841! Options from 2 hours to 5 days. Overnight at Torrent Bay Lodge or Meadowbank Homestead – Awaroa on the beachfront within Park boundaries. Ensuite accommodation, fine food, no heavy packs to carry. Travel with multiple NZ Tourism Award winners. Let us take care of the details so you can switch off and enjoy. Relax! Life just seems better here.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities, Lockers / storage, Food available for purchase
Reviewed 14 January 2018

I still can't stop smiling from this experience. What a treat! My husband and I took a day trip to Abel Tasman. We were picked up by boat on Kaiteriteri Beach in the morning and taken to the Tonga stop (via a seal colony and the split apple rock) which took about 90 minutes. From there, we took a walk that was documented as 2 hours, but in reality took us 1 hour 20 minutes including stops for pics. The first 10 minutes of the trail is the most challenging with a bit of a climb, but after that is pretty steady and easy. We noticed kids (around ages 7+) were doing the same trail without any issues. The views, waterfall, forest, and Medlands Beach (pick up point) were absolutely stunning. I will never forget them. There is lots of time to have a packed lunch, bathroom break and swim (if it's not too cold) at Medlands Beach.
The boat trip and the staff were very well organised, friendly, and professional. Especially returning in slightly rougher waters. They were considerate in keeping us up to date. Thank you for a very memorable and joyful experience. I highly recommend :)

Thank Travellingbibi76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DJWAbelTas, Wilson family member at Wilsons Abel Tasman, responded to this reviewResponded 15 January 2018

Thank you. We love to hear about families enjoying our trips.

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Write a ReviewReviews (809)
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"day trip"
in 68 reviews
"medlands beach"
in 51 reviews
"abel tasman"
in 193 reviews
"split apple rock"
in 46 reviews
"bay lodge"
in 13 reviews
"national park"
in 47 reviews
"tonga quarry"
in 39 reviews
"boat ride"
in 25 reviews
"new zealand"
in 48 reviews
"quiche"
in 7 reviews
"kayak guide"
in 18 reviews
"packed lunch"
in 20 reviews
"guided walk"
in 19 reviews
"sea kayaking"
in 23 reviews
"water taxi"
in 44 reviews
"bark bay"
in 36 reviews
"seal colony"
in 18 reviews
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95 - 99 of 809 reviews

Reviewed 14 January 2018 via mobile

Unfortunately we were unable to book online. We read through all the packages and decided which one we wanted, selected the date and completed the online form. When we tried to make payment we were shown an error code which meant nothing to us. When we tried to select another trip, it added a 2nd trip and wouldn't allow us to cancel the first as it was "already submitted". Very tedious and time consuming. We did still go to Kaiteriteri to see if our place had been reserved but it hadn't and there were no available trips that day.

1  Thank Elaine G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DJWAbelTas, Wilson family member at Wilsons Abel Tasman, responded to this reviewResponded 15 January 2018

We are enjoying some great sunny weather after a few days of less than ideal conditions during our popular high season. Online booking is closed if our trips are full. I am unsure of the error code you received but our Reservations Team, on hand to answer phone calls from 7.30 each morning, usually receives a warning if a booking is started and not completed. Our apologies for what appears to have been a software glitch. It would be helpful if you could contact us with your booking details so we could research this further. Hopefully, we were able to find an alternative option for you on the day.

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Reviewed 13 January 2018

After easily an hour looking over the website and trying to figure out the differences between all of the packages, we settled on the Adele Island Kayak Seals & Walk package with Wilsons. The packages are divided up weirdly and it was tricky to figure out the differences/pros and cons to the different trips. Our day broke down as follows:

-Scenic Cruise from Kaiteriteri to Observation Cove past Split Apple Rock (20 minutes), left at 9:20am
-Guided Kayak from Observation Cove to Adele Island and back (2 hours)
-Then our guide Sara literally left us on Observation Cove for almost an hour while we waited for the next ferry. It was too cold to swim. Definitely pack a lunch for this time, especially if the weather is not favorable.
-Vista Cruise from Observation Cove to Tonga Quarry (40 minutes), left at 1:15pm
-Hike from Tonga Beach to Medlands Beach via Bark Bay Waterfall Trail (5km/3 mile hike)
-Return cruise from Medlands to Kaiteriteri, departing at 5:05pm

Overall, this cost 344 NZD total, which I think is a MASSIVE overcharge for what we received. The scenic cruises were lovely, but got repetitive and cold very quickly because of the wind. It also became boring waiting for your particular ticketed ferry, especially as it was too cold to swim.The kayaking didn't add anything particularly special. We kayaked out to Adele Island and back. We did see seals, penguins, and many other birds, but you shouldn't and can't get closer to them, so your experience isn't really different from slowing down and seeing them from the boat.

The Bark Bay Waterfall Trail was absolutely lovely, but only took us about an hour (we had two and again, it was too cold to swim). If I did this over again, I would research the hikes in the area more and either do a half-day or take the first ferry far out and do a whole day's worth of hiking, then take the last ferry back. I think the kayaking didn't really add anything to our experience. However, Sara was a great guide and was very knowledgeable about the native wildlife and plants. If you haven't kayaked before, this would probably be more enjoyable!

MAIN TIPS: Research the hikes in the area and focus on that. Also, make sure you pack snacks as food on the boat is overpriced and limited. Wilsons was great for their ferry services, but there are a ton of ferries, perhaps check out other prices if you are only going to use the company for the ferry, not anything guided or rented.

Thank Christina J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DJWAbelTas, Wilson family member at Wilsons Abel Tasman, responded to this reviewResponded 15 January 2018

Thank you for your valuable feedback. To help clarify for the benefit of others, if you are confused by the website, please contact us. With a couple of questions, we can narrow down the options to help find the best trip for you. We have attempted to design our website to assist the selection process. This is continually under review and you have inspired us to have another look at it.

As with all our negative reviews the weather has had a big part to play in your expectations not being delivered. I suspect if the sun had been out things would have been more upbeat. After unusually wet weather, all travellers were a bit subdued, but the plants loved it.

Abel Tasman National Park has a variety of activities you can choose from. We do offer the widest range of any operator in the Park. Pricing is very competitive, so you will find that any minor cost variation is not worth compromising the quality of your trip. Cost differences between operators is reflected in the quality of crew/guides, flexibility, safety backups and quality of equipment – we are second to none. As you point out, Sara is a great part of the day. Guides bring the park alive. Independent kayakers move water put don’t understand what is in and around it, nor do they get the safety back-up.

Thank you for the overall praise for our services. There will always be extra cost to providing a menu at cafes & bars in remote locations, above prices from urban supermarkets. The convenience of having refreshments available on the boat is supported by many of our visitors.

The price you quote is for 2 people – a morning of Sea kayaking instruction and paddling with a great guide and extensive equipment, six boat transfers, a 2 hour bush walk, kayak boat transfers in and out of a remote location, and all taxes, park levies and fees.

Thank you for emphasising the importance of planning and research to make the most out of any holiday. We have updated our website to make planning, weather details and equipment information pages more prominent.

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Reviewed 11 January 2018 via mobile

Very clear directions to pick up point. Easy and comfortable sailing from Awaroa via Totaranui back to Kaiteriteri.

Thank Anton G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 8 January 2018

We did the Vista Happy Hour Cruise and really enjoyed it! What a great company and operation they have set up too. Excellent and professional service which impressed me immensely. We were running really late for our original booking and sadly missed the departure of the boat by a matter of minutes. We went back to the ticket office and they were calm and friendly and most hospitable and offered to put us on the same cruise the next day, which we were very happy to do. Thanks so much for this!

The boats depart from the beach itself and they have a ramp they extend our to the sands for you to climb aboard on - so you get your feet a bit wet.

Throughout the trip there was pleasant and professional commentary of the Able Tasman National Park.

Loved the happy hour prices - they had a great range of local wines and beers on offer, as well as non alcoholic options.

Thoroughly enjoyed this cruise, although it isn't hard is it when the air is warm, the seas are calm, the vistas are stunning and the drinks are cold :) Many thanks

Thank SD2606
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DJWAbelTas, Wilson family member at Wilsons Abel Tasman, responded to this reviewResponded 15 January 2018

Thank you for taking the time for such a comprehensive review. We are so glad you enjoyed our new afternoon trip.

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