Nelson is at the top of the South Island, it is the gateway to the amazing Abel Tasman National Park. and the wonderful and productive hinterland of Tasman – great cycling here
Northwest of Nelson is Golden Bay – a huge bay sheltered by the long arm of Farewell Spit. To get there you go over the Takaka Hill. It was many years after living in New Zealand before I drove over this hill, but it’s reputation goes before it – rising to 791 metres, it is a significant reminder of the days when such a hill left those on the other side of it isolated.
But the journey is worth it – the only advice I have is give it some time. This is not the place for a Sunday drive and then home again. Golden Bay is to savour and enjoy. It is a laid back area where there naked cyclists and hippies still roam, with great beaches, and national parks to explore.
The Women Travel network has several places in the area to stay:
Panorama Cottage is in the Takaka Valley on your way off that famous hill. Enjoy a beautiful private 3 bedroom rural cottage – it sleeps 7 so room for all the family and friends.
- Moonbow B&B – fabulous beachfront in the heart of Golden Bay
Anahata Yoga Retreat – backpackers and camping here with a focus on simple and sustainable living
What Not to Miss in Golden Bay
Farewell Spit – has been a sanctuary since the 1930s with over 90 species of birds, most importantly the waders. Enjoy Eco tours or a short walk
The drive to the Wharariki on the west coast – turn off at Puponga – beautiful scenery, walks, horse tracks and back country roads more
The Mussel Inn 1259 SH 60 Onekaka The fare is simple and wholesome and as much as possible, prepared in our own kitchen. Famous for our fresh steamed mussels and thick mussel chowder,
Caving and Canyoning – Explore natural underground formations and caves – marvel at glowworm displays, cave formations and sculptured rocks. Or, try the thrill of abseiling down cascading waterfalls in a breathtaking canyon.
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