Deciding what to do, where to go and how long to stay is almost impossible in the planning stages of an extended trip to a new country. This particular region of NZ was the most difficult for me to plan out of the 13 we visited.
The good news for you is that I've done my homework so you don't have to!
The tour originates in NELSON, a touristy town three hours south of Golden Bay. Most people fly here (fairly inexpensive) or arrive by bus.
7-8:15am: Free van transport by KAITERITERI KAYAK to the public beach in Kaiteriteri.
8:30am-5:15pm: All day kayak trip on Seals & Remote Coast in the northern end of Abel Tasman National Park. Paddle among seals and shags in pretty bays.
5:50-7:00pm: Ride to Takaka on Kahurangi Bus. Arrange (e-mail bus comapny) to have your rental car waiting for you at the bus stop.
7:15pm: Drive east of Takaka to Pohara and check into the Sans Souci Inn.
7:30-8:30pm Set dinner at the Inn.
10am-6pm: Barefoot Tour of the Golden Bay region. Hike to an amazing beach and scare yourself silly in sea tunnels.
8pm: Dinner at the Wholemeal Café or Mussel Inn Tavern.
6:30am-2:30pm: Farewell Spit Tour Departure time varies daily due to tide. Allow six hours for touring the bird colonies.
Morning or afternoon: Visit Pupu Springs (one hour).
Overnight in Collingwood.
Full day on the Cape Farewell Horse Coastal Overnight Trek. Time dependent on tide (e-mail Gail). Spend the day riding over rolling green hills along the Tasman Sea and Wharariki Beach. Overnight in a secluded spot near the ocean.
8-noon: Spend morning fishing or hiking part of the Hilltop Walk before returning to Farewell Spit.
1-2pm: Drive to Westhaven Retreat B&B.
Afternoon: Explore the private beaches on the 1000 acre property.
8-9am: Llama trek at Westhaven.
9:00-9:45am: Drive back to Takaka (leave car at bus stop).
10-11am: Catch the bus to Totanaui (Abel Tasman Park).
11am-6pm: Dependent on tide, walk south 1.5 hours to cross the estuary at low tide en route to Awaroa Lodge. Overnight at this incredible place. Kayak, hike, relax.
Dependent on your flight time in Nelson!
Continue hiking the coastal track south catching the water-taxi along the way. Or, take the 1.5 hour water-taxi from Awaora to Marahua at 10:30am or 3pm.
Abel Tasman Buses depart from Marahau for Nelson airport at 12:30pm, 3:30pm and 5:30pm and takes 1.75 hours.