If you enjoy reading articles ranking New Zealand’s best beaches you would definitely have heard of Kaiteriteri. It’s a niche form of literature I know, but there is always plenty of debate on the subject and people really seem to love Kaiteriteri Beach. It’s not my favourite beach in New Zealand (or even the immediate area) but it’s a nice place to visit, especially if you’re short on time and can’t make it to some of the more unspoiled beaches in Abel Tasman National Park. There are a few other things to do in Kaiteriteri as well, including a nice coastal walk, a couple of other beaches and a rock that looks a lot like an apple.
We’ve been to Kaiteriteri Beach a few times over the last couple of years and our enjoyment was directly affected by when we visited. The first couple of times were during holiday periods and it was very busy. The last time (only a week or so ago) it was a quiet Sunday morning and we appreciated it so much more. The tide was also high, which made it look a bit nicer too. The only problem with visiting in May is that the water is freezing! When the tide is a bit lower you can walk around the rocks and there is obviously more beach to go around, meaning even if it’s busy you should get a section of sand to yourself.
Walking to Little Kaiteriteri
A trail starting at the eastern end of the beach takes you over the hill and down to Little Kaiteriteri Beach. There are some great views from up there and the beach is quieter than its bigger sibling. There are some cool rock formations to explore at Little Kaiteriteri — the walk should take around 30 minutes all up (one way) and it’s pretty easy. You can also drive there if walking isn’t your thing.
Kaka Point Lookout
At the western end of Kaiteriteri Beach you’ll find a little headland with stunning views of the beach and surrounding area. You can walk there easily or drive to the top — it’s easily one of the best things to do in Kaiteriteri so don’t miss it!
You can also catch a glimpse of Honeymoon Bay / Breaker Bay (and further along the coast towards Marahau) from the other side of the car park. What would be a stunning view is unfortunately mostly blocked by trees — very frustrating! We tried to drive down there but couldn’t find a way to access it — it looks nice from what we saw though.
Split Apple Rock
Around 6 km from Kaiteriteri (along a winding road) you’ll find Split Apple Rock. It’s an accurate title and it’s a cool little quirk of nature to seek out. The beach is stunning as well — if you prefer secluded beaches to built up ones you’d probably rank it ahead of Kaiteriteri.
Water Taxis and Tours
Kaiteriteri is one of the gateways to Abel Tasman National Park. Tours and water taxis leave from Kaiteriteri (and nearby Marahau) and there seems to be an option for everyone. You could take a water taxi to Bark Bay (from Marahau) and walk back along the track or choose another section of the track. There are also heaps of kayaking tour options as well as more relaxing (aka not much walking involved) boat tours.However you choose to do it, you’ll see some of New Zealand’s best beaches (try and avoid a dreary grey day though — no beaches look good in those conditions!).
You’ll pass through Motueka on the way to Kaiteriteri. It’s only around 20 minutes away and has heaps of food and accommodation options and is also a good place to book tours to Abel Tasman National Park. If you’re there on a Sunday morning (9 am – 1 pm) you should check out the market. There is some delicious food on offer (try the Argentinian steak sandwiches!) and the usual arts, crafts and produce.
Marahau is one end of the Abel Tasman Coastal Track and a lot of the boat tours leave from there. It’s a short drive from Kaiteriteri (just past Split Apple Rock) and it could be worth a visit even if you’re not venturing into the park. The beach there is quite nice and you can see it all pretty quickly.
What are your favourite things to do in Kaiteriteri? Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments below!
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