Golden Bay

abel-tasman-1Golden Bay is a shallow, paraboloid shaped bay at the north west end of New Zealand's South Island. An arm of the Tasman Sea, the bay lies north west of Tasman Bay and Cook Strait. It is protected in the north by Farewell Spit, a 26 km long arm of fine golden sand which is the country's longest sand spit. The Aorere and Takaka Rivers flow into the bay from the south.

It is known for being a popular tourist destination, because of its good weather and relaxed, friendly lifestyle. The bay was once a resting area for migrating whales and dolphins such as Southern Right Whales and Humpback Whales.

The west and northern regions of the bay are largely unpopulated. Along its southern coast are the towns of Takaka and Collingwood, and also the Abel Tasman National Park. Separation Point, the natural boundary between Golden and Tasman Bays is situated within the park. Basal part of the spit approaches to the North West Nelson National Park.


In December 2011, it (as well as much of the Nelson/Tasman region) was hit by heavy rain and flooding, which affected many homes around the Pohara/Ligar Bay/Tata Beach/Wainui area. The road to Totaranui, a popular isolated tourist destination in Tasman Bay was badly damaged and was reopened on 29 June 2012. It was a blow to the region during that period but with all the locals banding together to support each other including The wonderful Abel Tasman sea shuttle family and their huge barge, and Civil Defense on the ball it didnt take too long to move the multitude of campers buses and caravans that were stuck behind the damaged road', the work to reopen took a couple of months or more but once re-opened that locals and residents alike flocked back into their favourite holiday destinations.

Its beaches like Tata Beach are popular locations for retirees and holiday-homes. It is located in the Tasman Region, one of the territorial authorities of New Zealand. [wikipedia]

The Main street of Collingwood  filled with History, visit the small local Museum or "Machinery Museum" for a look at the past in Collingwood.

Golden Bay is positioned at the northern tip of South Island, New Zealand and is popular with visitors who enjoy the outdoors, summer and winter. Deserted beaches and tracks, and clear crisp days make early spring and autumn great seasons for exploring the many 'ins and outs' of 'The Bay'.


Golden Bay enjoys a temperate climate and winters are mild, with the sea often as flat as a mirror against a stunning backdrop of snow-capped mountains. The region is also renowned for high-energy creative and cultural events during the warm to hot summer months.  Fishing is a predominant exercise carried out in the area with the year round seasons offering, Whitebait, Tuna, Kahawai,Snapper and King Fish to name a few. Most Locals Farm Dairy Cattle or Sheep with some crops being grown to feed livestock, the township of Takaka boasts a small range of great cafes, an array of clothing suited to the climate an ITM store as well as Hammer Hardware with its great range of everything imaginable, a "Fresh Choice"supermarket Visitor information center, several great Hotels and Bars that offer all range of options including accommodation, reasonably priced family meals, take away liquor plus the normal bar goods and Beers on tap an Mixed drinks.

Call into Reception during open hours and we can fit you out with a surf caster and bait for fishing off our beach, or alternatively check out the Fishing Charters available in the area

Wildcat Charters on


Anton Donaldson
New Zealand Trout Adventures
ph. 027 932 5084 or 03 5248258
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Activities and Dining

Farewell Spit Eco Tours

6 Tasman Street 
PO Box 15,
Collingwood 7054,
New Zealand
64 3 524 8257

Anatoki Salmon Fishing and Cafe

242 McCallum Rd, Takaka

Situated on the banks of the Anatoki River with a tranquil backdrop of native bush, you can relax and catch chinook salmon. Entry and use of fishing rods is free. You only pay for what you catch. We clean your fish for free and a hot smoker (10 minutes) is available. Sashimi is another option we can do. In our fully licensed cafe/restaurant you can have it as a meal with side dishes, while your children amuse themselves in the playground and sandpit. You can also take your fish home or have it vacuum packed. Open 7 days a week, year round (except Christmas Day). Bring your camera and go for the catch of the day!  

Old School Cafe and Bar

1115 Collingwood Puponga
Main Road
Golden Bay   Website

If you are wanting to have a first class meal set in a warm and ambient setting, then the Old School Cafe is the place where you'll want to stop. Located only 12 km's from Collingwood, it is not too far to enjoy the friendly and relaxed atmosphere you will find here at this popular cafe. Enjoy the wonderful fresh produce of the area while sitting in their lovely outdoor setting, surrounded by established plants, or inside amongst the history of the school house it used to be. 

Te Waikoropupu Springs 

Pupu Springs' are the largest freshwater springs in Australasia and reputedly the clearest in the world. About 14,000 litres of water per second surges from underground vents dotted around the reserve, including one with ‘dancing sands’ propelled upwards by gushing water. The water looks enticing, but swimming or even touching the water is a no-no. From Takaka, head 4km northwest on SH60, turn inland at Waitapu Bridge and keep going for 3km.

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Rawhiti Cave

The ultimate in geological eye-candy around these parts are the phytokarst features of Rawhiti Cave. Get there from Motupipi, by driving along Packard Rd for 2.5km. Walk from the farm gates, then clamber along the river bed and up a zigzag track to the right. The rugged two-hour-return walk

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Golden Bay Museum and Gallery

This small museum's stand-out exhibits include a diorama depicting Abel Tasman’s 1642 landing and some dubious human taxidermy. Ask about the albatross. The adjoining gallery offers satisfying browsing of local and national knick-knackery and quite possibly the purchase of a quality souvenir. For additional arty ambling, look for the free Artists in Golden Bay pamphlet.

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Naked Possum Cafe

Relax at this splendid, Nouveau-rustic joint after exploring the adjacent Kaituna Track and its Goldmining relics and pretty river forks (two hours return). Outdoor fire, ample lawn, great beer and a possum tannery. Wild game a speciality. Book your spot at the popular Friday evening steak barbecue or Sunday roasts.

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Pupu Hydro Walkway

Not far from Pupu Springs, this enjoyable two-hour circuit passes through beech forest, past engineering and gold-mining relics to the restored (and operational) Pupu Hydro Powerhouse, built in 1929. To get here, take the 4km gravel road (signed ‘Pupu Walkway’) off Pupu Springs Rd.

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Mussel Inn

The Mussel Inn is located in the heart of Golden Bay, North West Nelson region of the South Island of New Zealand. A two hour drive from Nelson, over the Takaka hill, through the township of Takaka and on another 17 kms towards Collingwood you will find yourself in Onekaka. Keep your eyes peeled, for the Mussel Inn is very subtly sign posted but can often be recognised by the many cars parked on the roadside - especially on a busy night.

Built in 1992 by Jane and Andrew Dixon and their two sons, Henry and Toby, with a big whack of encouragement from John Mitchell , the Mussel Inn could be described as ‘Kiwi woolshed’ meets ‘Aussie farmhouse’ in style of construction. A single room with a veranda on three sides, chunky wooden furniture (tables good to dance on) and a large open fire create a space that is rustic and homely.

No need to get dressed up - in fact there is no dress code - although it would generally be more appropriate if some clothes were worn - the atmosphere is laid-back and family friendly.

Other Accommodation
Somerset House Backpackers.
Zatori Retreat