Down the Bay is a natural and cultural history of Abel Tasman National Park, one of New Zealand's most loved and popular national parks. A war-time baby, the park was created in 1942 to protect the wonderful sequence of beaches, headlands and forest that characterises this idylic stretch of coastline at the top of South Island.
Philip Simpson, an award-winning author of a number of books on New Zealand trees, presents a comprehensive picture of the distinctive landforms of Abel Tasman, from the granite headlands and golden-sand beaches of the coast to the deep caves of the uplands, the diversity of plants and animals, the marine environment, and the overlay of both Maori and European history.
As well, the book records how Project Janszoon, a trust funded by a remarkably generous philanthropic gift, is working with the Department of Conservation and a range of other organisations to transform the park, by removing pests and weeds and then restoring and preserving the wildlife of Abel Tasman. This is an inspiring and hopeful story of how the future of an important area of New Zealand is being secured for future generations.
Down the Bay is the first authoritative account of Abel Tasman National Park to ever be published, a book that also beautifully captures an unforgettable visitor experience.
Writer and ecologist Dr Philip Simpson lives next to Abel Tasman National Park and is a Trustee for Project Janszoon. His previous books, on cabbage trees (tī kōuka), pōhutukawa, rātā and tōtara, all combine natural and cultural history, the latter including Māori and European values towards the trees, and he now has transferred this perspective onto the park. For four years he has tramped through Abel Tasman National Park studying the plants and animals, geology and soils, as well as researching the human history through the libraries and museums of New Zealand, and gathering memories and knowledge sourced from local people.