Baby Seal at Wharariki Beach
Cape Farewell-Horse Treks
Take photos-leave footprints
Te Whaikoropupu Springs
Totaranui, Abel Tasman
Tonga Island Marine Reserve
Te Anaroa Caves, Rockville
Feed the eels at Bencarri
Fishing at Anatoki Salmon
THINGS TO DO
Activities in the Golden Bay area
You’ll need more than a day to see The Bay!
Imagine a region with endless variety, where golden beaches, alpine valleys and tranquil fishing rivers share a close proximity with the sea. This is Golden Bay!
After a scenic descent via the region’s majestic “marble mountain” gateway, you’ll drive through gentle pasture land, pause awhile in the bustling township of Takaka and on to vistas of windswept seacliffs, glaciated mountain ranges and the most placid beaches imaginable.
Many Maori hilltop settlements were already ancient when Abel Tasman, the first European to see this land, anchored here in 1642. Later the Bay was to become the gold capital of the young colony of New Zealand.
Golden Bay boasts two famous walks – the Abel Tasman national Park Coastal Track and Kahurangi’s Heaphy Track, with great hiking also in the Cobb Valley. Gentler tracks lead to Pupu Springs, Wainui Falls and the Kaitua Goldfield.
Breathtaking scenery. Beautiful safe beaches. Arts and crafts. Sporting activities. There’s something for everyone in the Golden Bay area.
Suggested length of stay, from 2 days up to 2 weeks.
Take a “walk in beauty” amid a gallery of rock formations.
It takes a little bit of effort to get to Wharariki, but like a walk to the fridge for a cold one, it’s worth it! Approximately an hour’s drive from Takaka in Golden Bay, a short gravel road leads visitors to a car park, from where you take a 15-20-minute stroll across farmland. A short incline at the end takes you to one of the most dramatic landscape views New Zealand has to offer. Wharariki isn’t your traditional beach visit. Graced with rolling dunes, caves, rock formations, cliffs and islands, it is a discoverer’s dream. The wind sweeping the western coast has resulted in quirky, intriguing bushland. Basically the photo opportunities are endless so make sure you take the camera!
Whanganui InletA natural haven for mammals and seabirds. Recreational fishing is permitted in the inlet’s north-eastern region
Cape Farewell – Horse TreksTreks
Pillar Point Light – 1.5 hours
Puponga Beach – 1.5 hours
The Old Man Range Trek – 2.5 hours
Wharariki Beach – 3 hours
Triangle Valley Trek – 2 hours
Triangle Valley/Old Man Range Combined Trek – 3.5 hours
The Overnight Coastal Experience
The geography is unique, the history is fascinating but it is the birds that give Farewell Spit its world-wide fame.
A sanctuary since the 1930,s the Spit is now returning to its indigenous covering including cabbage trees, kanuka, mahoe and rushes. Habitats range from open mudflats to sand dunes – ever-changing with winds and tides – providing homes for over 90 species of bird, most importantly the waders. Bar tailed godwits, knots, curlews, whimbrets and turnstones fly 12,000km every Northern Hemisphere autumn, programmed to spend summer in the south.
Farewell Spit is more is more strictly protected than a National Park. Vehicle access is granted only to supervised tours. Through sharing the experience of Farewell Spit we can help to raise public awareness of this precious eco-system, so vital for migratory birds.
Farewell Spit Nature Reserve is a bird sanctuary and wetland of international importance. The Spit is around 35km long and public access is restricted to the first 4km.
“Onetahua” is the Maori name for Farewell Spit and translated means “heaped up sand”.
Farewell Spit Eco Tours
Our company has been operating on Farewell Spit for more than 60 years and has a permit from the Department of Conversation to enter the reserve. WE hold the only permit to visit the Gannet colony beyond the lighthouse and the wader feeding grounds on the inter-tidal plain.
The tour started as the mail delivery to the Lighthouse keepers and their families. The Lighthouse is automated these days, but the visitors keep coming – drawn by the special qualities of this unique spot and by the deep historical and natural knowledge shared by our local guides.
Farewell Spit Eco Tour – 6 ½ hours
Gannet Colony Tour – 6 ½ hours
Lighthouse Tour - 4 ½ hours
Wader Watch Tour – 3-4 hours
Bookings are essential
Farewell Spit Nature Experience
Immerse yourself in this dramatic landscape of shifting sands and migrating wildlife. Travel to the Farewell Spit Lighthouse and beyond as we give you a unique insight into the many intrigues of this world class wildlife sanctuary.
The 4 hour Farewell Spit Nature Experience departs daily from Farewell Spit Visitor Information Centre.
Coastal Cliffs Panoramic Experience
Visit Cape Farewell, the northern most point of the South Island. Experience one of New Zealand’s most stunning panoramic views. A must for landscape photographers, this tour takes in the dramatic Pillar Point with 360 degree views over the North-West and Farewell Spit
High Light Low Light Nature Experience
This comprehensive nature tour visits Cape Farewell and the ‘High Light’ at Pillar Point Lighthouse and then explores the Farewell Spit Nature Reserve to the ‘Low Light’ Lighthouse. The round trip combines the key features of both the Farewell Spit and Coastal Cliff tours into an all encompassing experience of the region’s nature wonders.
Kahurangi National ParkNew Zealand’s most recent and second largest National Park starts right at the doorstep to Golden Bay. Snow-covered mountain tops, glacial lakes and bizarre limestone landscapes contrast with a huge variety of flora and fauna, palm-fringed beaches and pounding surf. The famous Heaphy track leads you from Golden Bay through a spectacular and ever-changing landscape to the lush rainforests of the West Coast. The Cobb Reservoir road provides the only vehicle access into the magnificent alpine region within the park.
Te Waikoropupu SpringsKnown locally as Pupu Springs, the rushing glass-clear water of these famous springs have made headlines as the clearest fresh waters in the world!
Abel Tasman National ParkWith its blue and turquoise waters and forest-lined golden beaches, the Abel Tasman is a shining jewel among New Zealand’s most popular National Parks. With walks of up to 5 days duration, the Abel Tasman is a haven for hiking, sea kayaking, swimming and fishing, with mammal watch Eco Tours available. For day walkers and hikers, the park is accessible from Golden Bay by boat, car or bus.
Tonga Island Marine ReserveA sanctuary for marine animals and birdlife. Popular with visitors seeking the company of friendly seals and dolphins.
The Collingwood MuseumTasman Street, Collingwood
Photographs and displays of wide interest in a recently renovated museum. Showing aspects of early development in the Collingwood district.
The Golden Bay Machinery & Early Settlers Museum at Rockville
Experience the aspects of machinery development in Golden Bay through the years.
Vintage tractors, farm machinery and seller’s items
Large display of stationary engines (“Steam-up” days during Labour Weekend, Christmas/New Year and Easter.
Other live steam by special arrangements.
Te Anaroa Caves
Te Anaroa Caves
Ancient formations, fossilised shellfish, vast arrays of unspoilt stalactites and stagmites, plus glowworms!
Discover this 350m long limestone cave system and its fascinating history. This 1.5 hours tour departs daily and bookings are essential.
A short walk through lush, native forest leads you under-ground to large chambers ablaze with spectacular glowworms.
The Glowworm Cavern Celestrial experience is a 1.5 hour tour. Tours depart daily and bookings are essential
Combine the Te Anaroa Cave and Glowworm Cavern experiences into one exceptional Tour. Essential for the budding troglodyte!
Join the 3.5 hour Lime-light Caves Subterranean experience and see all the hidden marvels. Departs daily, bookings essential.
BencarriNestled on the banks of the Anatoki River and surrounded by native bush, Bencarri Nature Park invites you to experience a magical combination of nature, history and a vibrant, relaxed café.
Historic Anatoke eels – fed here since 1914
Eel Museum with audio-visual display
Happy, well cared for animals
Swings and hammocks
Mini golf and sand pit
Glow worms (after dark)
Evening spit roasts
Anatoki Salmon FishingAt Anatoki Salmon everyone is able to savour the fresh flavour of their catch, straight from the pristine clarity of one of New Zealand’s steepest rivers – the mythical Anatoki.
While the salmon steaks sizzle gently on the barbeque, take the time to relax at the picnic tables and soak up the atmosphere. Our ‘Lake Anatoki’ is bordered by beautiful native bush adjoining the Anatoki River and the Kahurangi National Park, providing a tranquil environment for fishing and picnicking.
Whether you spend an hour or the entire day at Anatoki Salmon, family and friends will enjoy a fishing experience unlike anywhere else.
Takaka HillGateway to Golden Bay, the marble mountain safeguards the tranquillity and relaxed lifestyle of the local residents. The scenic drive winds its way through an almost surreal limestone landscape with superb views over Golden Bay and the Tasman Sea.
Cave FormationsOver many years water has formed a variety of explorable cave systems within the greater Golden Bay area.
World-renowned Harwood’s Hole is famous for its awesome 183 metre vertical drop.
Caves Ngarua –Takaka Hill
Just 20km from Motueka, the Ngarua Cave provides the traveller the ideal stop-off on the way to Golden Bay. From a short road leading down to the Cave entrance one gets a panoramic seascape view from Nelson to D’Urville Island and beyond, all framed by the Karst Landscape of the weird, exposed grey marble outcrop. Truly one of the finest views in Nelson.
Millions of stalactites
Magnificent illuminated Wedding Cathedral
Historic names on Cave walls
Tree roots from the cave ceiling
Skeletal remains of NZ’s extinct flightless bird, the Moa, which was excavated from the cave floor in 1984.
Book your accommodation with us R&R Cottage and enjoy these fun activities when you stay in beautiful Golden Bay.