Sand too perfect to privatize
BY SUSANNAH CULLINANE
Surrounded by dense green native bush and turquoise waters, this stretch of golden sand is so exquisite that a group of New Zealanders banded together to buy it for the country. “The people's beach” lies deep in the Abel Tasman National Park in aptly named Golden Bay, at the top of the South Island.
When the privately-held beachfront came up for sale in 2016, around 39,000 Kiwis donated money so that the site could be gifted to the country's Department of Conservation and kept open to the public. Work is now been carried out to restore and protect its ecosystem, with coastal birds nesting and roosting nearby.
Crowd-funding may have made this beach accessible to the public but with luck its location in the heart of a national park without road access will ensure it remains relatively unpolluted by people. The majority of visitors to this piece of paradise come by water or on foot, making a dip in its clear waters all the more sweet
Local tip: You can't stay on the people's beach itself but DOC's campground at Totaranui is an hour and a half's walk away and is a beautiful site of itself.
Did you know?
In 2016, crowdfunding helped raise millions of dollars to keep Awaroa beach out of the hands of developers. It is now owned by the state and is part of Abel Tasman National Park.
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