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Your guide to Mārahau
All About Mārahau
This small town on New Zealand’s South Island sits at the doorstep of Abel Tasman National Park. Home to golden sand beaches and a multi-day coastal trek — the Abel Tasman Coastal Trek— New Zealand’s smallest national park is popular for its water sports and hiking trails; there’s also plenty of native wildlife to spot, like the world’s smallest penguin and fur seals warming themselves on the rocks near the edge of Tonga Island. Birders flock here for a chance to glimpse colorful tui and bellbirds singing in the forest. The town of Mārahau (population 200) has you covered with the basics, including kayak rentals, sailing excursions, horseback riding, and waterfront dining. There is a sprawling beach here perfect for swimming too.
When is the best time to stay in a vacation rental in Mārahau?
Mārahau’s location in the southern hemisphere means that its seasons are opposite from what you might be used to. This region enjoys a moderate, maritime climate and experiences more sunshine than most places in New Zealand. Generally, the best months to secure your Mārahau accommodation are the summer months of December to February, when you’ll experience long days with mild temperatures that are perfect for beach activities. Fall and spring bring cool daytime temperatures, perfect for hiking, and the water is still warm enough for swimming. Winter (June to August) sees dry days with blue skies and cool but comfortable temperatures.
What are the top things to do in Mārahau?
Kaiteriteri Mountain Bike Park
Twenty minutes from Mārahau, Kaiteriteri Mountain Bike Park attracts newbie and advanced riders looking to break a sweat. You can rent a bike in town or join a guided tour to explore the variable terrain. With over 25 miles of trails, there are several paths here that range from dense forest trails to wide-open terrain.
Abel Tasman Coast Track
Stretching 30 miles through the national park, this trail popular starts from the village of Mārahau and winds through beautiful native forest, across glimmering beaches, and over wooden suspension bridges. The main track cuts along the coast to the northern town of Wainui near the Kaukapakapa River. The trail has multiple access points, so you can walk a portion of it for a day and then start in a different position the following day.
With its mix of galleries, theaters, and performance venues, the nearby town of Nelson is a magnet for New Zealand’s creative set. Home to a large concentration of working artists, including the country’s most famous landscape photographer, it’s the perfect place to go gallery hopping after a day of swimming the glistening waters of Tasman Bay. Nelson is also the center of New Zealand’s hop harvest, so be sure to swing by one of the 11 craft breweries in town to sample local ale.