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Awaroa Beach

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by Pete Petterson (subscribe)
I'm a writer blogger who has been resident in the Hutt Valley since the late 1960's. I'm a father, grandfather and great-grandfather. I have seen many people come and go over the years, seen many things good and bad. Time to remember whanau
Published February 27th 2016
Photograph by Pseudopanax at English Wikipedia / distributed under Public Domain license

Awaroa is a beautiful seven hectare golden sand beach property that has been recently purchased from private ownership and will be added to the Abel Tasman National Park at the top of New Zealand's South Island.

The last four weeks have been quite hectic and exciting as organisers of a Givealittle Facebook page set out to raise the necessary funds to buy the Awaroa beach property from its private owner. It opened on Jan 22 2016 and reached the two million dollar benchmark thanks to 39,249 people.

The organiser, Duane Major, confirmed that the appeal had been successful a couple of days ago, and said it gave him a satisfied feeling - it was something special. He said all New Zealanders who had made pledges, including himself, needed to ensure they actually had the money to pay, which appears to have been confirmed.

The NZ public pledged $2,278,171, and the govt topped up with $350,000, which will come from the Nature Heritage Fund, which enables land to be bought for the conservation estate. The Conservation Minister said a trust or holding company would be set up until the land was gazetted as being part of the Abel Tasman National Park.

A longtime Abel Tasman National Park tourism operator said the successful bid was great news for New Zealand tourism. He was lost for words, but said it was a fantastic outcome for local tourism as well.

Awaroa sits at the northern head of the Abel Tasman National Park. On a good day it glitters in the golden sand, but its location does expose it to ocean storms which crash in from the Tasman. Monitoring weather reports is obviously necessary in this area.

Access to Awaroa is by helicopter, water taxi, or for the more adventurous, by foot or mountain bike on the well-worn tracks through the national park.

This new site bought for the NZ public who will be encouraged to visit, is elevated above the Awaroa lagoon, and has a few historic dwellings, including one fashioned from an old boat,

The aquisition has been lauded as giving Kiwis a special sense of ownership and interest in the area, which will be known for what it has always been - one of the most beautiful places in the world.

Back in the 1850's Awaroa was a thriving settlement with a boat building industry, saw mills and was used by coastal traders. These days it has a number of private homes and has a relaxed feeling about it. The private land at Awaroa is rather unusual in a national park. The Abel Tasman National Park is the only one to have residential housing.

There is also a lodge with accomodation, restaurant and a bar which is also open to the public. Behind the beach is a large tidal inlet which can only be crossed at low tide.

Awaroa must be an oasis in paradise. It is a must for overseas visitors, our special Australian friends, and kiwi holiday makers who shouldn't leave home until they have seen our country, as the advertisements say. I might see you there one day.

You can find some more information about the purchase through the links below.

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Why? Successful crowdfunding campaign
Where: Awaroa Bay
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