Abel Tasman National Park
At 22,530 hectares Abel Tasman is New Zealand's smallest national park. It is located at the top of the South Island and is within easy driving distance of Nelson, Motueka, Kaiteriteri, Upper Moutere, Tasman and Mapua, areas rich in arts and crafts, cafes, vineyard and wineries. It is covered in native bush, sculptured granite cliffs interlaced with walking tracks and surrounded by clear blue/green seas and welcoming bays with golden sand. It also has a mild climate and is a good place to visit at any time of the year. Dip into a world of golden beaches, native forest and wildlife encounters. Visitors love the way the Abel Tasman National Park mixes physical exertion with beach life. Many people enjoy walking the picturesque Abel Tasman Coastal Track, breaking the walk with a well deserved swim in one of the Abel Tasman's tantalising bays. Bursts of hiking or kayaking are punctuated by sun bathing, swimming and sedate snorkelling around the characteristic granite outcrops. The area is home to the New Zealand fur seal, which can be seen swimming in the blue waters or resting on rocks along the coastline. There's also one of New Zealand's marine reserves off the Abel Tasman National Park's coast. This reserve provides a safe haven for the marine wildlife in the area and is therefore a great place to scuba dive or snorkel; check out how big the crayfish grow. Those who crave home comforts can stay in luxurious lodges, but sleeping under the stars is regarded as the ultimate way to experience the spirit of the Abel Tasman. In fact there's so much to do here, you may find yourself booking next year's holiday in advance.