Golden Bay Free Visitor Attractions
Golden Bay is a shallow bay, separated from the sea by Farewell Spit, which lies at the northwest end of the South Island. The bay is bordered by Kahurangi National Park and Abel Tasman National Park in Nelson. Golden Bay is a vast, beautiful paradise for nature lovers – at the end of a wonderfully scenic road trip.
From Picton, drive to Golden Bay via Nelson or through Queen Charlotte Sounds (four or five hours driving) and from Christchurch (about 296km away), it's a seven hour drive via the Lewis Pass, Murchison, Nelson and Highway 60. Experience the long, slow climb over Takaka Hill (the 'Marble Mountain'), stop to marvel at Harwoods Hole, the Ngarua Caves and the Te Waikoropupu Springs (the 'Pupu Springs') - New Zealand's largest freshwater springs and home of the clearest spring water in the world. more
Popular with visitors to Golden Bay is the bird sanctuary on Farewell Spit, horse trekking on the beautiful Wharariki Beach, the Te Anaroa Caves, Bencarri Farm Park, Anatoki Salmon Park and cafe, and the scenic drive to the golden beaches of Ligar Bay and Tata Beach. Takaka Hill near Golden Bay hosts the unique, 'earth friendly festival' of Lumminate.
Accommodation in Golden Bay is in 'character-style' backpackers, baches, cottages, luxury lodges, plus modern motels and campgrounds.
Mobile-friendly - Mangarakau Swamp is the largest remaining wetland in the Nelson/Marlborough region. The huge variety of bird life, fish and flora in the wetland is truly amazing and the surrounding area is breathtaking in its diversity and scenic beauty. Walk the tracks and discover the wetland while based in luxury chalets at Wetland View Park
Choose from shorter or longer walks across farmland, and discover a lighthouse and spectacular views of the rugged coastline. From the Wharariki car park, follow a vehicle track west to Green Hills Stream and beyond. Superb farmland, lakes, cliffs and wind-carved moorlands are features of this area. Mountain biking is allowed on this track.
The labyrinth is a two hectare wonderland of the most amazing limestone rock formations and regenerating native bush. The canyons provide a readymade walkway system, even a natural rock maze where several adjacent canyons are interconnected by small tunnels and archways.
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