Activities & Attractions in Golden Bay
Golden Bay is one of the few places in the world where, within one hours drive, you will find two of New Zealand's most spectacular national parks. Glistening, golden sand beaches and turquoise, crystal clear waters, alongside alpine meadows and snowy mountain ranges.
Golden Bay is enjoyable all year as we have a climate that rivals that of the Mediterranean (but milder in winter) and is ideal year-round for outdoor activities. Summer time day temperatures are usually 23oC (73of) to 28oC (82of), and even in mid-winter, daytime temperatures in Golden Bay usually reach 13-18oC. This very mild climate together with the Nelson region's high sunshine hours ensures that the beautiful outdoors of Golden Bay can be enjoyed during all seasons.
One of the most frequent comments from guests is that they wished that they had arranged to stay longer! One reason being that there are so many diverse things to do, from short, simple beach or bush walks to guided day tours.
Golden Bay Walks
By far the most popular activity enjoyed by our guests.
From Adrift in Golden Bay, it is possible at low tide to walk north along the beach for 10km to Collingwood or south for 15 km almost to Takaka.
The Mussel Inn is a pleasant 3km walk partially along the beach.
Click below to see a list of some of the most popular day walks in Golden Bay, all within one hours drive of Adrift in Golden Bay. Some of the more famous walks are discussed in the National Parks section.
Golden Bay Arts Trail
The arts community in Golden Bay is vibrant and varied, catering to many tastes and expressions. Tour the region and visit professional studios and their resident artists.
Horse Trekking in Golden Bay
Several locations in Golden Bay were used in the filming of "The Hobbit" Trilogy and the other Lord of the Rings films.
The first Hobbit film "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" featured the private property of Kaihoka Station (west coast of Golden Bay). Fans can get a good feel for the filming location with Cape Farewell Horse Treks. It is possible to ride across private farmland to the dramatic limestone cliff top which offers spectacular coastal views over Golden Bay. A great way to experience some dramatic scenery.
Kayaking and Paddle boarding in Golden Bay and Abel Tasman National Park
Enjoy a different perspective of our own local coastline from the sheltered waters of Golden Bay in our stable, sit-on kayaks or our double kayaks; available free-of-charge to our guests. Adrift in Golden Bay faces east so is normally quite sheltered from the prevailing westerly winds.
For the more adventurous kayaker, Golden Bay Kayaks offer half-day guided tours or independent double kayak hire in the Abel Tasman National Park. They also offer stand up paddle boarding, with fitness sessions, independent hire, lessons, and guided tour options.
Scenic Cruise in Abel Tasman National Park
Join the Abel Tasman Sea Shuttle at the beautiful Totaranui for a full scenic cruise through the Abel Tasman National park to Kaiteriteri arriving at lunchtime. You have various return times available during the afternoon.
Scenic Flights in Golden Bay and North-West Nelson
Golden Bay Flights operates a charter flight service from Golden Bay and scenic flights over Golden Bay. Will also provide return transport for those walking the Heaphy Track.
Sailing in Golden Bay
Just 2 km north of our accommodation, a variety of small sailboats can be hired at a very nominal fee for sailing in the sheltered waters of the Para Para Inlet. Sailboards are also available.
Caving in Golden Bay
Golden Bay boasts 3 different conducted cave tour operators as well as the most extensive cave systems in the Southern Hemisphere. On top of the Takaka Hill, on the drive to Adrift from Nelson/Christchurch is Ngarua Caves. A self-guided visit to the breath-taking Rawhiti Cave just south of Takaka is a highly recommended half-day trip.
Mountain Biking in Golden Bay
Golden Bay has one of the best downhill mountain bike trails in New Zealand, the Rameka Track. Starting at the summit of the Takaka Hill, it descends almost 1000 vertical metres through native bush.
One-way transport to the top of the Marble Mountain and excellent rental bikes are available in Takaka.
Rameka Track was recently voted Number 83 in New Zealand's nationwide poll "101 Must-dos for Kiwis"
It is possible to mountain bike the Heaphy Track from May 1st until September 30th each year until at least 2013. The track can be done in one day by a very fit cyclist but only when daylight hours permit and a minimum of 2 days each way is highly recommended. Then why not ease those aches in one of our luxury spas!
Rest and Relaxation
Experience an indulgent warm-oil massage in massage in your own cottage at Adrift with Bay Bliss Ayurvedic Massage or rejuvenate yourself with a facial or a spa, pedicure or manicure at Touch of Beauty in Takaka.
Golden Bay Rock Climbing
Golden Bay sits between 2 large limestone outcrops, one in Kahurangi National Park and one in Abel Tasman National Park. This affords some excellent and varied climbs, the best known being Payne's Ford (15min drive from Adrift)
Golfing in Golden Bay
Our local 9 hole course at Takaka Golf Club is right along side the seashore at Pohara where you can enjoy panoramic views of Golden Bay and the mountains from the course and clubhouse.
Fishing in the Bay
Take a day out to go fishing with Wildcat Charters.
You can try your hand at landing a salmon or two at Anatoki Salmon Farm where you only pay for what you catch and have it smoked for you while you enjoy a cold drink.
Fish our beautiful clear rivers for trout.
Spend some time out in Golden Bay sea fishing or dredging (in season) for scallops
Bring home your trophies to grill on the barbecue!
Wild Earth Nature Park began as a farm for alpacas, llamas and sheep but now has developed into a Nature Park and Cafe where you can also feed tame eels.