George Leslie Adkin was a New Zealand farmer, geologist, archaeologist, ethnologist, photographer, tramper and environmentalist. As an amateur scholar he made a significant contribution to the study of natural sciences in New Zealand.
George Leslie Adkin, known as Leslie Adkin, was born in Wellington, New Zealand, the first child of seven of William George Adkin, a draper and his wife, Annie Denton. The Adkin family later moved to Levin to farm and Leslie was to complete his schooling by boarding at Wellington College.
During his time as a boarding student Adkin developed an interest in collecting plants and rocks and also learnt to process his own photographs. His enthusiasm for photography never faltered during his lifetime and his large collection of negatives form a visual diary of his life and activities.
After completing secondary school Adkin returned to the family farm in Levin. He combined his interest in geology with tramping and explored the Tararua ranges making the first recorded crossing from Levin to Masterton. His maternal grandfather, George Denton, introduced him to the Wellington Philosophical Society and from 1910 he began to submit papers.