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We care


Here at Abel Tasman Canyons we are committed to environmental sustainability. We take a proactive approach to minimise the environmental impact of our commercial operation. In addition, we are also aware that our commercial operation actually puts us in a position to have a positive impact on the environment if we allow it to and we are committed to making the most of this opportunity. Together with every customer we take a step towards better sustainability and regeneration in the Abel Tasman region.

How do we minimise our environmental impact?

1. We commit to the Mārahau Pledge

The Mārahau Pledge is a practical commitment by businesses working in the visitor sector to protect and enhance the environment that they love and work in.

The three core commitments of the Mārahau Pledge are:

  1. Being Zero Carbon certified
  2. Working together with other businesses to advance sustainability and go further together
  3. Giving back by including a financial contribution in the ticket price to enhance biodiversity in Marahau. This is the Environmental Access Fee (EAF).

2. We adhere to the Leave No Trace principles

On all our canyoning trips we adhere to the 7 principles of  ‘Leave no Trace‘ to ensure minimum impact practices whilst visiting the outdoors. The 7 principles are:

  1. Plan ahead and prepare
  2. Travel and camp on durable surfaces
  3. Dispose of waste properly
  4. Leave what you find
  5. Minimise campfire impacts
  6. Respect wildlife
  7. Be considerate of other visitors

3. We adhere to the Tiaki promise

The Tiaki Promise is an initiative created by some of New Zealand’s leaders in tourism, to care for our future by helping to protect our land, our sea, and our culture. By making the Tiaki Promise we are committing to the following:

  • CARE FOR LAND, SEA AND NATURE, treading lightly and leaving no trace
  • TRAVEL SAFELY, showing care and consideration for all
  • RESPECT CULTURE, travelling with an open heart and mind

Hence to act as a guardian of our beautiful Aotearoa.

How do we encourage positive environmental impact?

1. We help create environmental and cultural awareness on our trips

We consider ourselves very fortunate to be allowed to operate in the national parks as a Department of Conservation Concessionaire. With this privilege comes a responsibility to take care of the environment and to minimise our impact, which we monitor in conjunction with DOC. We appreciate just how lucky we are that New Zealand still has these places to explore, and how important it is for us to safeguard it for generations to come. By taking our guests into this profoundly beautiful and unspoiled natural environment, we are in an excellent position to educate and create environmental awareness. Throughout the day we share our knowledge on how to enjoy these beautiful natural places in a responsible manner and the importance of local conservation projects. Together with every customer we take a step towards better sustainability in the Abel Tasman National Park.

The larger Abel Tasman area was settled by three-local iwi; Ngāti Rārua, Ngāti Tama and Te Ati Awa. Each day our guides pass by the poupou (carving) of the rangatira (chieftain), Turangāpeke, the ancestor of Ngāti Rārua. The poupou of Turangāpeke has been placed in Anchorage Bay so visitors may gain an understanding of the history the area holds, that goes back much further than the arrival of Abel Tasman in 1642. We feel both honoured and privileged to have received permission from the local iwi and DOC (The Department of Conservation) to start our operations in 2012.

2. We support ecological restoration projects

The Department of Conservation works incredibly hard to both maintain the national park and to restore it to its original ecological landscape. However, without help they can’t get it all done. Luckily this area is filled with trusts and volunteers who deeply care about the ecological restoration of the Abel Tasman National Park, like the Abel Tasman Birdsong trust, the Mārahau Halo Trapping Project, the Mārahau Pledge, and the Tasman Bay Guardians. Each organisation focuses on their own area of expertise but they all work closely together, banding together for better sustainability in the Abel Tasman National Park. We are extremely grateful and big supporters of the work that these organisations are doing. During our trips we tell our participants all about the restoration projects and we can even physically point out the difference these projects are already making. Besides sharing information about these projects we also offer several organisations financial support.    

Abel Tasman Birdsong Trust

Abel Tasman Birdsong Trust’s vision is that the forests and beaches of the Abel Tasman National Park are once again filled with native birdsong. They work together with tourism operators, the Department of Conservation, Project Janszoon, and the community. The Abel Tasman Birdsong Trust utilises enthusiastic volunteers to undertake extensive predator control along the coast, plant and maintain native trees, remove wilding pines and control a large suite of weed species, and manage the population restoration of New Zealand’s precious native bird species. 

Mārahau Halo Trapping Project

The Mārahau Halo Trapping Project is a locally led, community based initiative to support ongoing trapping systems in the Abel Tasman National Park by creating a pest free halo around the southern entrance to the Abel Tasman National Park. The aim is to reduce pests, focusing on stoats and rats to start, from entering the National Park and thereby preserving the native wildlife.  The Mārahau Halo Trapping Project is working with the advice and support of Project Janszoon and the Abel Tasman Bird Song Trust. 

Tasman Bay Guardians

Tasman Bay Guardians are passionate conservationists and educators dedicated to improving the health of aquatic spaces across Te Tauihu. They collaborate with community groups, stakeholders, iwi, and schools to improve and maintain the mauri of te taiao. Through educational programmes, community workshops, and events, they aim to unite and empower communities to care for their environment.

If you would like to make a donation to the Tasman Bay Guardians, please click here. Your donation will support a child’s participation in their Experiencing Marine Reserves programme.

3. We volunteer our time

Besides educating our customers on the great local ecological restoration initiatives, and supporting these organisations financially, we also get involved by volunteering our time. Sustainability in the Abel Tasman National Park is key, we all need to do our bit.

National Park Beach Clean Up Ahead Of Summer 

During Conservation Week (September 2019) Tasman Bay Guardians organised a beach clean up in the Abel Tasman National Park ahead of the summer season. A group of 65 volunteers (made up out of people from the Department of Conservation, the community, and a variety of tourism operators) came together to remove 195kg of rubbish and to scrape off graffiti carved into the rock. We were happy to be part of this working bee making sure the Abel Tasman National Park was in tip top shape at the start of the tourist season. For more information on this event please read the Abel Tasman National Park Beach Clean blog. 

Tree Planting in Marahau After Cyclone Gita

In May 2018 the Abel Tasman Tree Collective organised a tree planting event on two slip sites in Marahau that were severely impacted by Cyclone Gita earlier that year. These sites were chosen with the aim to prevent sediment from running off the slips into the waterways. It was great to be part of this working bee and to come together as a community to protect Marahau from further slips in the future. Please click here for a video of the event.

Attending Mass Whale Strandings

We are proud to announce we have a marine mammal medic on our team. Soon after moving to the region Eva got to experience her first mass whale stranding in the Golden Bay. Anyone who has ever attended a mass whale stranding knows that memories of such an event will stay with you for a long time. Eva decided she wanted to be better prepared in case a similar event would occur in the future. She signed up with Project Jonah to become a Marine Mammal MedicThis means that she has received specific training on how best to help during a mass whale stranding. Soon after her training, it was Valentine’s day 2015, another mass whale stranding in the Golden Bay got to see her put her knowledge to use. Our dear friend from Bare Kiwi was there too and for those of you wondering what it was like, have a look at the video he made.


“Adventure is what all humans need, some humans have just forgotten or never remembered that adventure can be more than the pursuit of adrenaline.”

Deon J. Breytenbach

Hidden deep in the earth’s crust surrounded by walls covered in moss and ferns, you’ll find mind blowing combinations of showering waterfalls, deeply carved out caves and deep clear pools of greens and blues. All these beautiful sights pull you deeper into the canyon to see what’s around the next corner, all the way down to the valley floor. This remote and spiritual environment combined with the pure adrenaline you get from leaping off cliffs, sliding down water polished chutes and abseiling through thundering waterfalls, drives us to gear up and venture into our canyons.

“Super fun way to see an otherwise inaccessible bit of the park”

Tripadvisor Review

Just the two of us on a last minute booking and the +1 was a little nervous!
The guide (Toine) was great and doubled as a nature and history guide.
We both really enjoyed it. Well paced, individualised, super fun and always felt totally safe whilst at the same time exploring some places that felt a bit wild and unexplored.
Definitely recommend.

LloydMayers, Bristol

FREE: 0800 86 34 72

+64 3 528 9800

Canyoning new zealand