Golden Bay is a very beautiful, relatively untouched and quiet area at the northern end of the South Island of New Zealand that is often missed by travellers. It is one of two big bays that make up the Nelson Bays region, and is separated from the other, Tasman Bay, by the headlands of the Abel Tasman National Park.
Golden Bay is where Abel Tasman and his crew anchored in 1642 on the first visit to New Zealand by European explorers.
Drive over the Takaka Hill from Motueka (55 min).
- Beaches. Golden sand. What else in bay called golden?
- Cape Farewell. The northernmost point of the South Island
- Farewell Spit. A long sand dune reaching far into the sea
- Pupu spring. One of the largest fresh water springs by volume in the world
- Whanganui Inlet. A very remote inlet on the west coast. Drive further south to Anatori for spectacular beaches and rock formations
- 1 Wharariki Beach. A spectacular beach close to Cape Farewell. Its Archway Islands feature in a Windows 10 wallpaper photo looking out from a sea cave.
Before you get off the road and go off exploring the great outdoors let someone know where you are going and when you will be back. Do not underestimate this land and the risks that it presents to the ill-prepared traveler. If you have any doubts, seek out a local guide familiar with the area you intent to explore.