Golden Bay's National Parks & Natural Wonders
In this hidden corner of New Zealand, Golden Bay boasts two world-class National Parks and several other famous attractions, including New Zealand's largest freshwater springs and the southern hemisphere's deepest cave...
Abel Tasman National Park
- The Abel Tasman National Park is world famous for its coastline of golden beaches sparkling clear waters, sheltered bays and forested granite headlands.
- The Abel Tasman is New Zealand's smallest national park, but also the busiest.
- Recently voted Number 5 in New Zealand's nationwide poll "101 Must Dos for Kiwis".
- The Golden Bay side of the park is much quieter than the eastern side of the park.
- The Golden Bay entrance to Abel Tasman National Park is just 30 minutes drive from our accommodation.
- From Adrift it is a one hour scenic drive to Totaranui right in the heart of Abel Tasman National Park.
- From Totaranui numerous cruises and water taxis allow easy "day trip" access to all the different beaches of Abel Tasman e.g. Abel Tasman Sea Shuttle, Abel Tasman Wilson's Experiences and Golden Bay Connections on Abel Tasman Aqua Taxi allowing you the freedom view the park from the sea or walk from one bay to the next and return by boat.
- In December and January the beaches and bays are bustling with people, kayaks and boats.
- The park is quieter in other months and pleasant at all times of year.
- For more information on Abel Tasman National Park visit the New Zealand Department of Conservation, Abel Tasman National Park Information pages.
- Sea kayaking is a another popular way to see the park. One to five day-guided tours and freedom rentals are available.
Abel Tasman Track
- The Abel Tasman Track is a three to four day walk (51km) or water taxis allow easy access to all sections so it can be done as a series of day walks.
- It is one of the most beautiful (and popular) in the country, passing through pleasant bush, overlooking beaches, coves and quiet lagoons. It's northern end is in Golden Bay.
- More information on this world famous walk is available at the Abel Tasman Coastal Track Information pages.
Kahurangi National Park
- Kahurangi means ‘treasured possession’; an ecological wonderland with prolific bird and plant life and the largest known cave system in the southern hemisphere.
- Kahurangi is New Zealand's second largest national park. It is mostly wilderness area and includes the world renowned Farewell Spit, Heaphy Track and Wangapeka Track as well as many lesser known walking tracks and routes.
- Kahurangi Park and Farewell Spit is one of six sites around New Zealand that has been recommended for World Heritage Status as being of “outstanding universal value to humanity”.
- It's eastern border is just 1km from our lodging.
- For more information on Kahurangi National Park visit the Kahurangi National Park Information pages.
- Is one of New Zealand's best-known tracks. It is a four-to-six day tramp and traverses a large part of Kahurangi National Park.
- The Heaphy is an interesting walk with ever changing scenery including some spectacular views and traverses a delightful part of New Zealand's west coast.
- It's northern end is in Golden Bay, one hours drive from our property (again transport can be arranged).
- More information can be obtained at Heaphy Track Information pages.
- Farewell Spit is 40km long, the longest natural sandbar in the world.
- Recently voted Number 35 in New Zealand's nationwide poll "101 Must -Dos for Kiwis".
- A renowned bird sanctuary, Farewell Spit is a summer home to thousands of migratory birds.
- The long crescent of sand, dunes and wetlands can be explored partly on foot or (more commonly) by 4-wheel drive safari.
- The dunes themselves are an amazing phenomenon and offer stunning panoramic views of the spit, Golden Bay and at low tide, the vast salt marsh.
- Our beachfront accommodation is 10 minutes drive from Collingwood where the safari tours Farewell Spit Eco Tours start.
Pupu Springs (Waikoropupu Springs)
- The largest freshwater springs in New Zealand.
- The world's clearest freshwater.
- An underwater observation window offers spectacular viewing of the incredibly clear waters and brightly coloured plant life.
- You will pass the side road to Pupu Springs on your way from Takaka to our accommodation.
- A short walk leads to the springs and is 40 minutes well spent!
- Again the New Zealand Department of Conservation (DOC) website has a brief description of this and other Short Takaka Walks
- Golden Bay has many other fascinating natural wonders including several limestone caves which can be toured offering some beautiful, magical settings.
- One cave is the deepest in the southern hemisphere, a second has the biggest single drop in the southern hemisphere and still another where bones from the extinct Moa can be found.
- Having lived for over 25 years in Golden Bay and with a keen interest in the outdoors, Bess and Gordon will be only too pleased to advise you on how best to explore this part of New Zealand's South Island.