New Zealanders who rallied to raise funds to buy a beach achieved their goal today.
Awaroa Beach has become part of the Abel Tasman National Park after 40,000 Kiwis raised the money to buy it.
The beach was privately owned by European families until it was bought for the nation with $2.3 million donated through a Givealittle campaign last summer.
Today it was handed over to the Department of Conservation.
"Morena whaanui, God bless as you celebrate our Paradise Beach," one woman posted on Facebook.
"Going to the Able Tasman for the Awaroa beach gifting ceremony as I gave a little," another said.
Abel Tasman's Old Macdonalds Farm and Holiday Park commented that it was "great to see New Zealanders taking pride and ownership of their country".
A ceremony took place at the beach today to celebrate the property becoming part of the Abel Tasman National Park.
Duane Major and Adam Gard'ner - who started the Givealittle campaign - attended, along with Associate Minister of Conservation Nicky Wagner, Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith, and West Coast based MP Maureen Pugh.
"All those who contributed have given a wonderful gift to our nation. It is now protected forever with public access guaranteed," Wagner said.
A Government contribution of $350,000 from the Nature Heritage Fund and a $250,000 donation from the Joyce Fisher Charitable Trust helped secure the property's purchase.
Wagner said Abel Tasman National Park was New Zealand's smallest national park which attracted the greatest number of visitors.
"The purchase of the beach property is an outstanding addition to the park that all visitors will now be able to enjoy."
Plans are in place to restore sand dune ecology to improve the habitat for coastal birds.
Restoration plans also included clearing weeds and replanting native species in the dunes and forest.