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  • Writer's pictureRobert Lainhart

Abel Tasman National Park

Today was the first official day of the National Geographic photo expedition. We set out early in the morning heading around the Tasman Bay enroute to Kaiteriteri. Once in Kaiteriteri we transfered our luggage from our van onto a ferry. Once loaded up, the ferry backed away from the beach and the day had officially begun.

We traveled north along the coastline for about one and a half hours before docking at Awaroa Bay. Given that this remote area of New Zealand can only be accessed by foot or by boat, the beach appeared to be untouched by man. We dissembarked the boat and the minute my feet hit the sand I knew this was a special place. Looking from left to right, photographic opportunities jumped out at me.

We walked for about 15 minutes along a forest trail before arriving at our lodge tucked away beneath a small mountain. The lodge was beautiful. Each and every room felt like you were sleeping outdoors with loads of open windows and a deck looking out onto a lake. It was simply gorgeous.

That afternoon we made our way back down to the beach in attempts to get some great photos. Unfortionately it starting raining quite heavily but that wasn't going to stop me from getting some amazing images. My aunt spotted a cormorant sitting on a rock a little way down the coastline, and for the next 30 minutes it became my mission to slowly get close enough to photograph it. I climbed over boulders extremely slowly and soon enough I was within a few dozen feet of the majestic bird. I snapped hundreds of shots and luckily many turned out fantastic. It might have been wet and gloomy but it was definitely worth it.

I eventually made my way back through the forest to the lodge where I loaded the images into my computer and went to dinner. Dinner may have lasted nearly three hours but it was nice to get to know the rest of our group before heading off to bed.

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