Aerial view of Abel Tasman National Park, Awaroa © Loic Lagarde

Awaroa Beach: the beach we all own


You may well not be aware of it, but we all own this beach. Well, kinda.

Sounds good though, eh. (Of course, no one really owns any of these fab sites, we are all but caretakers, but that is an environmental debate worthy for around the campfire.)

Awaroa is located in the Abel Tasman National Park, and without getting into words like ‘deeds’ and ‘title’ there was a chance that it may perchance skip into private hands. Horror imaginings began to take place, especially in those whose families had had ties to the region for years. Were barbed wire fences due? Condos? Would the bellbird be driven out by bulldozers?

A couple of enterprising Kiwis organised an online crowdfunding effort and in a matter of months, 40,000 like-minded New Zealanders had pledged $2 million.

The government even chipped in $350,000 and now we, the public, own the 800m of coastline and 7.5ha of property. Forever.

Which is lucky, because it’s beautiful and special and it needs to continue to be shared and enjoyed. And mostly that’s on foot, by kayak or if you get flown in. The tides run very deep in the park, and the 40 minutes it takes to cross Awaroa estuary can only be attempted two hours either side of low tide. That’s a small window.

The estuary, the beautiful beach, the walks into surrounding bush are a delight. There’s a lodge to rest your weary head of an evening, homestays and spots for both ‘glamping’ and camping.

And the beach is open for all eternity. Result.

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