Our highlights in the Tasman Region – Backpacking Tipps

Here you can find our personal highlights from the Tasman Region of New Zealand

For many unfamiliar people the region of Tasman lies at the head of the South Island. The most famous part is the Abel Tasman with its famous Great Walk.

But apart from these well-known and well visited parts of the Tasman Region, there are many other beautiful spots to discover.

We show you our personal highlights and hope you enjoy them as much as we do.


Te Waikoropupu Springs

The largest fresh water source in New Zealand, a holy place for the Maori and breathtakingly beautiful! A small circular path leads through pristine forest and becomes a platform right next to the spring. At first sight it seems to be a big lake, but at the second glance you can see a gentle bubbling over the whole surface! The water is crystal clear, it glitters greenish, bluish, turquoise. The reflections of the surrounding trees blur with the surface and become one with the water plants – simply magical!

Since the 1960s any contact with the water is prohibited, in former times this was a popular spot for diving.


Te Waikoropupu Springs New Zealand

Te Waikoropupu Springs New Zealand, a holy spring for the Maories and the bluest water I have ever seen.


Rabbit Island

A small island that offers everything: Sandy beach, sea and sun, shady forest for walks, beach access for horses. Especially on sunny and warm days Rabbit Island is a popular destination. Even if you have to search a little for a parking space, the crowds get lost and there is always a shady spot on the extensive beach. When the sky is clear, you can see Nelson on the right and Motueka and Kaiteriteri on the left.


Rabbit Island New Zealand

Rabbit Island is worth a visit on a sunny day. Enjoy!


Cape Farewell and Farewell Spit

Endless dunes, the gentle murmur of the sea, small rocky cliffs and seals basking on the beach. The northernmost point on the South Island stretches a few kilometres along the coast. It consists of two parts, the rocky Cape Farewell with many cliffs and excellent views, and the sandy Farewell Spit, which stretches out to the sea. Erosion of the cliffs creates the sand that forms Farewell Spit. A hike of more than an hour connects both parts, but you can also reach both by car. A special recommendation is the Wharariki Beach. A 20-minute walk over open pasture land, through forest and dunes, then you reach the beach. From above you look down the dunes and find the sea. I could have spent many days here; this beach has something magical.

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Farewell Spit and a lot of sand

Farewell Spit and a lot of sand


Rawhiti Caves

One million years old and openly visible through a landslide, the Rawhiti Cave. About one hour a narrow path leads up the mountain through deep forest, over roots, stones and clay soil. Especially after or in case of rain you should be prepared for the mud battle, because the slippery path is worth every effort! Lianas and roots offer a great opportunity for rappelling or pulling up, especially on steep slopes. At the top you look down into the dark gorge, the stalactites and stalagmites gape out of the cave like teeth. The view is more than impressive! On information boards you can read the exciting history of the cave.


Rawhiti Cave New Zealand

Go and have a look at the Rawhiti Cave New Zealand


Abel Tasman National Park

The 225km² large nature reserve extends between Golden Bay and Tasman Bay. The Abel Tasman is known for its countless small bays with dreamlike sandy beaches and turquoise sea. Over 70 bird species, including the little penguin, can be found here. In addition to many hikes, including the Abel Tasman Great Walk, you can book canoe tours to paddle to the otherwise unreached, most beautiful bays. For those who do not want to go on a multi-day tour but still want to be in the middle of the national park, water taxis are available to take you to the most remote beaches. Those who want to see the typical beautiful postcard motives of New Zealand live should definitely visit the Abel Tasman National Park.


Shipwreck Janie Seddon

A little below Motueka is the wreck of the Janie Seddon. Built in Scotland in 1901, she set sail for Wellington and worked as a minelayer during World War I. Until 1950 she fulfilled various tasks, among others as a fishing boat. In 1953 she was put into the port of Motueka and sank on 23 April. Her wreck can still be seen today (even at high tide), and at low tide you can get within a few metres of this historic ship via a stone path.


The shipwreck of the Jamie Seddon

Visit and have a look at the Shipwreck of the Jamie Seddon


Largest Kiwi

Just below Motueka, right next to SH60, you can see what is probably the world's largest kiwi, and best of all, you don't need red light, nor do you have to lie in wait in the evening. You've probably guessed it already, it's just a statue of course, but it's cute anyway! A small road leads in an arc past the kiwi, the detour takes about 5 minutes, but it's worth it as we find! (If you know where it stands, you can even see it from the street).

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The largest Kiwi statue in New Zealand

Have a look at the The largest Kiwi statue in New Zealand


Nelson Lakes National Park

The Nelson Lakes National Park is especially known for its numerous and beautiful hikes. Whether it is along the lake, or the more challenging hikes to the beautifully located Angelus Hut. Here in the Nelson Lakes National Park there is a lot to discover.

With little effort we strongly recommend a short stop by car at the two lakes Lake Rotoroa (not to be confused with the city of Rotorua!) as well as Lake Rotoiti.

Both are picturesquely embedded by mountains. Which of the lakes do you like better?

PS: At both lakes there are the highest number of sand-flies we have ever seen. So, prepare yourself mentally already.


Lake Rotoroa based in the Nelson Lakes National Park

One of the most beautiful lakes, Lake Rotoroa based in the Nelson Lakes National Park


Harwood's Hole & Harwood's Hole Lookout

The Harwoods Hole and the Harwoods Hole Lookout of the same name are a good distance from the highway. Over a well drivable Gravel Road it goes down to the Canaan Downs.

A short walk from the parking lot is the impressive Harwoods Hole. Also, very popular for cave explorers, but not recommended without experience.

Nevertheless, it is impressive to stand on the edge and experience this gigantic hole in the rock.

Only a few minutes away from there is the Harwoods Hole Lookout. This offers you a spectacular view of the surrounding valley and towards Takaka. How did you like the area?

PS: The Canaan Downs regularly hosts bigger and better-known festivals in New Zealand.


Hawkes Lookout on the Takaka Hill

The Hawkes Lookout is almost at the top of Takaka Hill. From here you have a great view towards Motueka after about 5 minutes’ walk.

With a Self-Contained Vehicle you can also stay overnight there and enjoy the magnificent starry sky at night.

On the first trip we only stopped there for a short time, but afterwards we gave the spot a chance and were positively surprised, try it out.


Look from Taka Hill to Motueka

Look from Taka Hill to Motueka


More posts to the New Zealand Regions

We have made a map for your easy navigation, with which you can visit the respective contribution to the region directly. Have a look around what we like in the other regions!



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