This is the crystal clear waters of Sandfly Bay. My wife and I made our way down to this hidden bay while hiking along the Abel Tasman Coastal Track. We saw several kayakers come down the river and paddling through this bay, the last bit of fresh water meeting the salty sea of the Cook Strait. The footprints of fellow hikers and another couple, packing up their camping gear, are the only other signs of humanity.
This is a part of the world that moves at a slower pace, and seems worlds away from the busy life we typically lead. We spent five days hiking these beautiful beaches and coastal forests. Towards the end of the journey our feet hurt, our bodies ached and we were excited to see more of New Zealand, but a big part of me wanted to turn back, setup a tent, grab a fishing pole and live off the land for the foreseeable future. There is something so sublime about this mostly untouched landscape, where unlike so many other beautiful bays around the world it isn’t cluttered with highrise hotels and strip malls. I am very thankful to those who came before and pushed for places like this that give a glimpse into the world we have left behind. The national park legacy, half a world away.