Schools & Education

Abel Tasman Eco Tours provides a range of educational opportunities to students of any age to suit their relevant school curriculum.

We use the park as a classroom for passive and interactive learning experiences for small and large groups of students.

We can also come to your school for a pre-trip presentation and briefing covering anything from ecology, biodiversity, marine biology, conservation, pollution, small business and the like. We will then engage the students by taking them into the environment, usually with an activity led by the teacher and/or a tour.

Arrange a shoulder or low season trip for the best and quietest time for learning in the Abel Tasman

Tasman Bay Guardians

Experiencing Marine Reserves and Whitebait Connection

Tasman Bay Guardians provides these exciting marine and freshwater programmes for all ages. Ask about what we can do for you, from one off snorkel days to full courses with environmental actions. All NCEA accredited. Your school may be eligible for a subsidy

Abel Tasman EcoTours and Tasman Bay Guardians co-ordinate and delivers programmes from the following organisations:

  • Experiencing Marine Reserves
  • Whitebait Connection
  • Love Your Coast
  • Marine Metre Squared

We are happy to talk and tailor a programme to your school’s requirements, and have worked with local schools, including:

  • Nayland College
  • Nelson Boys College
  • Hampton Hill School
  • Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology
  • Nelson Trades Academy
  • Whenua Iti Outdoors

Teacher Testimonial

Ken Ross
Ken RossNelson College
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I was looking for a new location and activity for a research assessment with my year 11 Geography class. I settled on looking at the impacts of work being done in Abel Tasman National Park by Project Janszoon. My idea was to carry out five minute bird counts on Adele Island (which is pest free) and compare it to a control site on the mainland (with partial pest control). Stew’s services were exactly what I needed to solve my logistical problems in getting students to these locations in a safe, efficient and professional manner. His vessel is purpose built and comfortable. Stew carries reference texts on board which I found very useful. Stew’s own knowledge of the park is impressive, be it within an historical, ecological or environmental context. This activity has become my ‘flagship’ fieldtrip for year 11. Stew’s input was essential to the success of the activity. Asides from acting in a transportation capacity, Stew acquired the appropriate permits, he supplied an additional supervisor for students during data collection, and modified his normal tour programme to suit our needs. I appreciate also the considerable concession Stew gave to us as a school; thus making the activity viable from a financial perspective. I look forward to working with Stew and utilising his services next year and beyond.
Carol Brieseman
Carol BriesemanHapmton Hill School, Wellington
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We love booking in with Abel Tasman Eco tours when we come down to Marahau for our Year 6 camp each year. Stew gives an informative Marine ecosystem talk – pitching it right at the level for the kids’ interest and then follows up with a trip around the marine environment, pointing out features along the way. (A beach study creates a great way for the kids to become citizen scientists as well.) A highlight of our week for sure – and all linked with the NZ Curriculum - Nature of Science – Investigating in science (L3) Living World – Ecology (L1–3) Living World – Life processes (L1–3) Many thanks Stew – we must book you in for next year!!
Katrina Marwick
Katrina MarwickTravel and Tourism, Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology
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In May 2017 my students in Tourism and Travel joined tourists from Europe to day in the Park with Abel Tasman Eco Tours. It was obvious to me from the time we were greeted at Marahau by our guide Stew that this was going to be a day to be remembered. Straight on to the water, we became fully engaged in Stew’s entertaining historical accounts of days gone by, and inspired by his relentless enthusiasm for ‘what we can do every day to enhance natural and cultural values’ in the Able Tasman. Stew’s commitment to local community was evident in his facilitation of projects to help restore local marine and terrestrial ecosystems; valuable for ‘to be tourism guides’ to encounter an operator actually ‘walking the talk’. Laughing, learning, walking and resting with the Shags while pigging out on a range of complementary home baked cakes, was not however, the ‘icing on the cake’…this prize had to go to the local seal pup team, diving and dunking beneath the boat, thriving in the crystal clear waters of their secluded lagoon; cheeky grins approving of our presence as they dared to climb on board. For the audience, these were magical, impressionable, ‘priceless’ moments. Thank you Stew, ambassador for the Abel Tasman; we will be back for another trip with you in 2018. As a trainee of future operators, guides and advocates for a healthy NZ tourism industry, I applaud your commitment to positively influence students and visitors to better understand our connectivity to nature and to inspire meaningful discussion on issues that matter; facing the truth about the state of the natural environment in NZ and the part we can play to ensure that “we leave this planet in a healthier state than that in which we inherited it….for our children to enjoy”. ‘Paradise’ doesn’t just happen and cannot be taken for granted. The NZ Tourism Industry needs more genuine eco-operators like Stew to ensure we don’t “kill the goose that laid the golden egg”.
Dave Purdie HOD Geography
Dave Purdie HOD GeographyNelson College
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I teach Geography and Tourism here at Nelson College and a hugely important part of these subjects is providing students with opportunities to learn outside the classroom. This type of practical, experiential and real learning pays huge dividends in terms of overall student outcomes and achievement. Each year we engage the services of Stew and Abel Tasman Eco Tours to provide water transport and guiding services in the Abel Tasman National Park for various Geography and Tourism field trips. Stew never fails to disappoint, providing consistently high levels of knowledge, enthusiasm and positivity to our experiences. From an organisational perspective, Stew is always a pleasure to deal with when setting up trips in the park. He is both professional and relaxed, with the flexibility he provides enabling us to tailor our trips to exactly what benefits students the most. I would not hesitate to recommend Stew and Abel Tasman Eco Tours to anyone keen on experiencing the Abel Tasman National Park and/or organising an educational experience.
Graeme Bloomfield
Graeme BloomfieldEarth and Marine Sciences, Nayland College, Stoke
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Abel Tasman Ecotours provides fantastic educational opportunities for school students! Get into it folks. Stew has run about a dozen trips for my marine science classes since 2013. He ticks all the boxes for a great day outside the classroom: he relates to young people, he is super safe, he has an impressive knowledge and lots of really cool learning takes place. Stew listens to what I need the students to learn about and then sorts the day into a cohesive programme. Each class that goes on a trip is working on something slightly different and every time Stew hits the nail on the head.