Golden Bay - Century Park, Nelson New Zealand
The winding trip over the Takaka Hill rewards with panoramic views of Golden Bay from the top. Golden Bay stretches along the coastline to the far shores of spectacular Wharariki Beach. This area has a rich social and natural history. Colourful Takaka is the principal township offering main street shopping, cafés and fresh produce. Nearby Collingwood is the gateway to Farewell Spit. Museums in Takaka, Collingwood and Rockville trace the history of the area.
Getting AroundRegular bus services to Golden Bay from Nelson. Fly in by charter direct from Nelson or Wellington.
Exploring OutdoorsStop at the Ngarua Caves and Harwood’s Hole on the Takaka Hill. Just outside Takaka is the sacred Te Waikoropupu (Pupu) Springs. Beaches abound - from Pohara and Tata to Wharariki Beach on the rugged west coast. Access the magnificent Kahurangi National Park from Collingwood or the Cobb Valley, south of Takaka, or try one of the short walks at Wainui Falls, the Grove or Paynes Ford.
AmbienceFrom the funky café culture of Main Street in Takaka to the isolated splendour of Farewell Spit, Golden Bay community and landscape holds some awesome surprises.
ArtsSome of New Zealand’s top sculptors, painters, potters, jewellery-makers and bone carvers have made Golden Bay their home. You can visit most studios year round.
Action and AdventureGo mountain biking on the Rameka Track, kayak on the Aorere River. Take a 4WD tour to Farewell Spit – a bird sanctuary and wetland for waders such as godwits and curlews. The Heaphy Track starts in Collingwood heading through remote native forest to the West Coast. Beachcomb on historic Onekaka Beach, explore the old goldfields in the Aorere Valley or enjoy the beauty of Golden Bay on horseback.
AccommodationNestled in bush and near Takaka or close to beaches around Collingwood are motels, boutique, bed and breakfasts, backpackers, holiday houses and campsites.
Essential Experiences• Try a beer brewed on site at the Mussel Inn, 17km from Takaka.
• Travel from Farewell Spit up to Pillar Point lighthouse.
• Glimpse early settler life at the Collingwood Museum.
Fascinating Facts• The Bainham store has been run by the granddaughter of the original owner since 1947.
• With cliff heights up to 30m, Paynes Ford has the best limestone crag climbing in Australasia.
• Beyond the lighthouse at Farewell Spit, is a gannet colony.
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