Abel Tasman National Park
|Abel Tasman National Park|
|Location||Tasman District, New Zealand|
|Area||225 square kilometres (87 sq mi)|
|Governing body||Department of Conservation|
Abel Tasman National Park is a New Zealand national park located between Golden Bay and Tasman Bay at the north end of the South Island. It is named after Abel Tasman, who in 1642 became the first European explorer to sight New Zealand and who anchored nearby in Golden Bay.
The park was opened on the 18 December 1942 to mark the 300th anniversary of Abel Tasman's visit. Those in attendance at the opening ceremony at Tarakohe included Charles van der Plas, as personal representative of the Netherlands' Queen, Wilhelmina. The Queen was made Patron of the park.
The idea for the park had been under consideration since June 1938. The Crown set aside 37,622 acres, being 21,900 acres of proposed state forest, 14,354 acres of Crown land and 1,368 acres of other reserve land for the national park. The Golden Bay Cement Company donated the land where the memorial plaque was sited. The area's primary historic interest was the visit of Tasman in 1642, D'Uville in 1827, and the New Zealand Company barques Whitby and Will Watch, and brig Arrow in 1841. The site was also of significant botanical interest.
By 1946 the park had reached 38,386 acres in area with additional land purchases. A further 2,085 acres at Totaranui, formerly owned by William Gibbs, was acquired from J S Campbell in 1949 and added to the park. About 15,000 acres have been added since. In 2008 an extra 7.9 km2 (3.1 sq mi), including the formerly private land known as Hadfields Clearing, were added to the park.
Covering an area of 225.3 km2 (87.0 sq mi) (55,699 acres), the park is the smallest of New Zealand's national parks. It consists of forested, hilly country to the north of the valleys of the Takaka and Riwaka Rivers, and is bounded to the north by the waters of Golden Bay and Tasman Bay. It contains some of the islands off the coast including the Tata Islands in Golden Bay, and Tonga Island, Adele Island, and Fisherman Island in Tasman Bay.
The park does not extend beyond Mean High Water Mark on the adjacent coast. Between Mean High Water and Mean Low Water Springs, the beaches are gazetted as a Scenic Reserve, covering 7.74 km2 (2.99 sq mi) in total. The Tonga Island Marine Reserve adjoins part of the park.
The Abel Tasman Coast Track is a popular tramping track that follows the coastline and is one of the Department of Conservation's Great Walks; the Abel Tasman Inland Track is less frequented. Kayaking, camping and sightseeing are other activities.
The Department of Conservation administers the National Park. The Scenic Reserve is administered by the Tasman District Council Chief Executive and Department of Conservation’s Nelson/ Marlborough Conservator.
Activities in adjoining coastal waters are Tasman District Council's responsibility. These areas operate under separate regulations.
Totaranui is a 1 km long beach and the location of a large campsite.
- Hoiberg, Dale H., ed. (2010). "Abel Tasman National Park". Encyclopedia Britannica. I: A-ak Bayes (15th ed.). Chicago, IL: Encyclopedia Britannica Inc. p. 25. ISBN 978-1-59339-837-8.
- Historic Event, Evening Post, Wellington, Volume CXXXIV, Issue 127, 25 November 1942, Page 3
- Tasman Tercentenary, Evening Post, Volume CXXXIV, Issue 144, 15 December 1942, Page 4
- Memory of Tasman A new National Park, Evening Post, Volume CXXXIV, Issue 147, 18 December 1942, Page 4
- Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives, 1949 Session I, C-10 Page 4
- "National Parks gain ground". press release. New Zealand Government. 2008-03-20. Retrieved 2008-03-26.
- "Abel Tasman National Park". Department of Conservation. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
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Abel Tasman National Park travel guide from Wikivoyage