The last four days of the holidays before everyone takes off to University in the big cities…I can’t think of a better place to have spent those four days than at Totaranui in the Abel Tasman National Park.
Abel Tasman National Park is located at the top of New Zealand’s South Island in the Tasman Region. To get to Totaranui Beach itself, you must drive (or take a bus) for about 2 hours from Nelson, which is the biggest city in the region. From Nelson, over Takaka Hill into Takaka itself is a great place for photography, with its distinctive rocky landscape. The last 10km into Totaranui is a very narrow, winding gravel road through New Zealand’s famous native forest, which opens up into a large clearing on D.O.C (Department of Conservation) land.
Totaranui is a large D.O.C owned campsite. During peak season you must book ahead as the campsite can accommodate up to 800 people. I advise to go in early February when the majority of the crowds have gone, no booking is needed and the weather is still amazing. You will find 26 camping bays, labeled A to Z, where you can camp along the beach front. And when your tent is up, you’re free to go and photograph everything to your heart’s content!
The first thing you will notice, of course, is the golden beach which runs down to the crystal clear water. The water is warm so you will spend most of the day swimming! Other places to go to, include the Abel Tasman walking track, which goes directly through the campsite, or you can go along the rocky edge of the bay where you can snorkel and fish!
Cameras suited for this beach are… everything! The beach is perfect for Diana Mini snapshots (sadly, this was my only option), but Spinners could capture the entire beach and Underwater Fisheye cameras would be perfect for the clear water. The next time I go I hope to have these options!
If you are ever in New Zealand, for some of the nicest beach in the country, this place is a must visit!