Abel Tasman is the smallest of all national parks in New Zealand and covers an area of 22,500 ha in the very north of the South Island. It is named after Abel Janszoon Tasman, a famous Dutch navigator and the first European who ever anchored mainland on New Zealand in on 18 December 1642. In his honour, the park was established 300 years later and opened in December 1942.
Abel Tasman National Park is situated on a landmass that is surrounded by the Golden Bay in the northwest and the Tasman Bay in the southeast. The park is mainly covered in dense, subtropical rainforest reaching up to the park's highest points, Murray Peak (1101 m) and Mount Evans (1156 m). Abel Tasman's western border marks the Takaka River and the corresponding township as well as several smaller settlements along the coast. It's eastern side is characterised by several small peninsulas, bays and islands including Tonga and Adele Island.
Even though it is the country's smallest national park, Abel Tasman is one of the most visited sites in New Zealand. This is due to its popular sandy beaches, the mild coastal climate and the numerous activities that the park has to offer. It is home to a great biodiversity, as over 70 bird species have been recorded throughout Abel Tasman's forests. Additionally, a direct neighbour is the Tonga Island Marine Reserve.