Exploring Golden Bay

Explore all Golden Bay has to offer....

Onetahua Marae

Established in 1986, Onetahua Marae in Pohara is used by the whole community for tangi, hui and wananga (educational base).

It is the home marae for three local iwi: Ngati Rarua, Ngati Tama, and Te Atiawa, but it operates as a multicultural marae with the wider involvement of the whole community. The protocol (kawa) there is Taranaki.

"Onetahua" is the Maori name for Farewell Spit and translated means "heaped up sand".

TAKAKA TO ABEL TASMAN: POHARA

Getting to Pohara

Leave Takaka via Motupipi Street (when approaching Takaka turn right just after the Visitor Centre) or Meihana Street (drive through Takaka township and turn right at the high school). It will be a 10-minute drive to Pohara.

TAKAKA TO ABEL TASMAN:

The Clifton Cemetery and Reserve

was the first European cemetery in Golden Bay. It is at the end of the Pohara cycle/walkway.

TAKAKA TO ABEL TASMAN: POHARA

Tarakohe Habour

This rock-walled harbour was built by the Golden Bay Cement Company for shipping bulk cement made out of limestone from the adjoining quarry. Whilst the quarry and works have closed, the wharf and harbour are still used for barging dolomite that is quarried elsewhere in Golden Bay. The fishing and scalloping fleet unloads and anchors here, and there is a sizeable marina for commercial and pleasure boats.

TAKAKA TO ABEL TASMAN:

People of the Past - Asbestos Cottage

From 1914 this tiny isolated cottage in the Cobb Valley was home to Henry Chaffey and Annie Fox for nearly 40 years. The couple were largely self-sufficient; Henry would hunt deer and goat, and a well tended garden supplied various fruits and vegetables. Four beds have been set up in the tiny
bedroom and the hut is available as accommodation for trampers. It is a 2 hour walk from the Cobb Valley Road.

MOTUEKA TO TAKAKA:

Bird Life

Over 112 species of bird have been recorded from the spit, many make use of the shallow tidal waters.

Most spectacular are the 20 odd species of migrant wading birds, which visit in huge numbers.

Up to 27 thousand birds belonging to a single species have been recorded.

COLLINGWOOD TO FAREWELL SPIT & MANGARAKAU:

Ligar Bay

has a safe golden sandy beach and shady picnic spots.

TAKAKA TO ABEL TASMAN:

History

In 1842, Surveyor Tuckett found three Europeans living near the pa at the mouth of the Aorere River. They were building a trading vessel. The tiny settlement was first named Gibbstown after an influential resident but later the name was changed to Collingwood, honouring Nelson's second-in-command at Trafalgar.

COLLINGWOOD TO AORERE VALLEY:

Labyrinth Rocks Park

has been developed as an enchanting family attraction and they are 2 kilometres from Takaka on the way to Pohara. Nature has produced a maze-like network of canyons through a limestone outcrop.

TAKAKA TOWNSHIP:

Ngaurua Caves

Discover the stunning Ngarua Caves with its extensive and breathtaking variety of stalagmites and stalactites, also featuring an excellent skeletal display of the extinct moa.

Located in the Takaka Hill and open daily throughout summer offering guided cave tours hourly from 10am-4pm.
The user-friendly access to view the Ngarua Caves is suitable for all ages.
Experience the Ngarua Caves then relax with a coffee/refreshments and enjoy the spectacular views of Tasman Bay and Karst landscape.

EXPLORE: TAKAKA
Phone: 035288093
Email: ngaruacaves@paradise.net.nz

Farewell Spit

New Zealand's longest sandspit stretches from Fossil Point, 1.6km east of Puponga, for 35km across the entrance to Golden Bay, the breakwater for a safe all weather anchorage.

The spit is formed entirely from sand, derived from the erosion of granites, schists and other rocks on the West Coast, which is transported northwards by coastal drift and is gradually filling Golden Bay from the north.

COLLINGWOOD TO FAREWELL SPIT & MANGARAKAU:

Onekaka

This tiny settlement was once a major industrial area.

In the 1920s and 30s local iron ore was turned into pig-iron and iron pipes at the Onekaka Ironworks.

Most of the plant has now been demolished but the last remaining evidence of this optimistic endeavours is also the easiest to get to. Turn down Washbourn Road, drive a short distance to the beach and before you know it you are at the ruins of the Ironworks Wharf.

TAKAKA TO COLLINGWOOD: ONEKAKA

Wainui Falls

is a beautiful 40-minute bush walk with a swing bridge. The track follows the river and you enter some real New Zealand bush.

TAKAKA TO ABEL TASMAN: WAINUI

Main Features

The Pupu Hydro Walkway

is one of the Bay's best half-day walks with bush, history, plant life, rock-hounding and engineering ingenuity to enjoy. It retraces an old gold-mining water race which has been reused for power generation. The walk requires moderate fitness. It begins 9 kilometres from Takaka at the end of Pupu Valley Road.

TAKAKA TO COLLINGWOOD:

The Department of Conservation

offIce is in the centre of Takaka.

Hut bookings can be made and information sought on the many walks and tramps in our two national parks.

Ph: 03 525 8026.

TAKAKA TOWNSHIP: TAKAKA
Phone: 03-525-8026

Pohara

Pohara is one of the main holiday centres of the Bay, with a beach that must rank among New Zealand's safest.

Leave Takaka via Motupipi Street (when approaching Takaka turn right just after the Visitor Centre) or Meihana Street (drive through Takaka township and turn right at the high school). It will be a 10-minute drive to Pohara.

It is a popular centre for windsurfing and kayaking. Hire equipment is available for those who forgot their own. Every standard of accommodation is available

TAKAKA TO ABEL TASMAN: POHARA

Rototai, Rangihaeata and Patons Rock

A short scenic loop road from either side of Takaka takes you past the Rototai settlement hidden between the estuaries of the Motupipi and Waitapu rivers.

The estuaries, sand spits and beaches provide ideal environments for an interesting variety of birdlife, including caspian terns, pied oystercatchers, spoonbills and the usually solitary but majestic, white heron.

TAKAKA TO COLLINGWOOD:

Aquaculture

Greenshell mussel farms can be seen at Wainui Bay and off-shore at Pakawau. This is a growing industry in Golden Bay.

TAKAKA TO ABEL TASMAN: WAINUI

People of the Past - Onekaka

The tiny settlement of Onekaka was once a major industrial area. In the 1920s and 1930s local iron ore was turned into pig-iron and iron pipes at the Onekaka Ironworks and shipped from Onekaka wharf.

Between 1922 and 1935, a total of 81,499 tons of iron, valued at nearly 210,000 pounds, were produced, with up to 180 men being employed. A hydro-electric dam and plant were built in 1929 to provide power for the pipe-making operation.

TAKAKA TO COLLINGWOOD:

Mangarakau

Beyond Westhaven there are manuka moorlands to the left, high bluffs to the right. Suddenly there is a scatter of houses, and you are in Mangarakau.

In earlier times there were sawmills and a coal mine but these are gone and the village has shrunk accordingly. However, life is returning to these distant parts. Once prized and exploited for its timber, flax and coal, Mangarakau is now known for its conservation estate; especially the Mangarakau Swamp; the largest wetland in the Nelson Region.

COLLINGWOOD TO FAREWELL SPIT & MANGARAKAU: MANGARAKAU

Tata Beach

has deeper water for waterskiing. The boat ramp is suitable for use at mid to high tides. Tata Islands, with their steep limestone cliffs, archways and seabird colony, are popular destinations for kayakers.

TAKAKA TO ABEL TASMAN:

Collingwood Cemetery 1857 to 1895

People who enjoy rambling through historic cemeteries and reading stories of flooks, epidemics, shipwrecks and other trials of early colonial life from the headstones should set aside some time to visit the Old Collingwood Cemetery, whose ornate wrought-iron fences and crumbling gravemakers are scattered on a rocky hillslope beside what was once the coach-road to the goldfields.

COLLINGWOOD TO AORERE VALLEY:

Farewell Spit History

Cape Farewell and Farewell Spit were noted by Tasman in 1642 and named by Cook when he left New Zealand in 1770.

The first lighthouse on this unusually interesting site was finished in 1870. In those days, much of the spit was invisible to ships at high tide, so one keeper, Mr Harwood, brought back two saddle bags of soil on each of his trips for supplies.

The macrocarpas and pines he planted form an oasis which is conspicuous seaward and is almost as valuable as the light itself.

COLLINGWOOD TO FAREWELL SPIT & MANGARAKAU:

Takaka Hill

The climb from Motueka reveals superb views over Tasman Bay to Nelson and beyond, but once the summit of Takaka Hill is crossed, at 791 metres above sea level, Golden Bay suddenly appears with startling beauty.

From Harwood Lookout the zig-zagging highway below leads the eye to the green valley of the Takaka River running north towards the distant sea, while beyond the valley rise the dramatic Tasman Mountains, home to the country's most spectacular alpine meadows.

MOTUEKA TO TAKAKA:

Twin Waters Lodge

Peace, tranquility, native bird life, a sandy beach, native forest and affordable luxury amongst some of the most varied scenery and activities New Zealand has to offer are the hallmarks of a stay at Twin Waters Lodge.

We're 9 kilometres north of Collingwood.

COLLINGWOOD TO FAREWELL SPIT & MANGARAKAU: PAKAWAU
30 Totara Avenue Collingwood / Pakawau
Tariff: $180-280/couple
Phone: 03-524-8014
Email: stay@twinwaters.co.nz
Web: www.twinwaters.co.nz
Book: Click here
Map: Click here

Wainui Bay

is a great beach for collecting mussels, exploring the rock formations and shady picnic spots. A favourite walk is at low tide to Taupo Point. Wainui is the western starting point of the Abel Tasman Coastal Track.

TAKAKA TO ABEL TASMAN: WAINUI

Pakawau Beach Park

Beachfront cabins, tent and campervan sites. Safe sandy swimming beach, children's playground. Cafe-restaurant-bar across road. 10 minutes north of Collingwood on road to Farewell Spit.

COLLINGWOOD TO FAREWELL SPIT & MANGARAKAU: PAKAWAU
1112 Collingwood Puponga Main Road, Pakawau
Phone: 03-5248308
Email: pakawaubeachpark@gmail.com
Web: www.goldenbaycamping.co.nz
Map: Click here

Main Features

Collingwood
has essential services, a petrol station, fire station, post shop, food store, tavern and campground. There is a wide selection of accommodation.

Historic Trail
includes St Cuthbert's Church (1873), Courthouse (1901) and Post Office (1906). From the fire station, follow the trail of heritage plaques along Tasman Street, then turn right to the War Memorials and uphill to the Church.

COLLINGWOOD TO AORERE VALLEY: COLLINGWOOD

Goldfields

Gold was found in the Aorere in December 1856, and within a year there were a thousand men working there.

Aorere became the first major goldfield in New Zealand and was notable because sluicing was used and the diggers got together to set down their own regulations.

The rush lasted for three years, during which time Collingwood was mooted as the capital of New Zealand.

COLLINGWOOD TO AORERE VALLEY: COLLINGWOOD

Main Features

Farewell Spit
is New Zealand's longest sandspit, stretching for 35 kilometres. Onetahua is the Maori name for Farewell Spit and translated means "heaped up sand". The spit is formed from shifting sand dunes up to 20 metres high. Farewell Spit is a Nature Reserve and access is restricted. Free public walking access is permitted at the base of the spit, for a distance of 2.5 kilometres down the inner beach, or 4 kilometres down the outer beach. Supervised tours take you further.

COLLINGWOOD TO FAREWELL SPIT & MANGARAKAU:

The Takaka Golf Club

in Clifton is a nine-hole links course adjacent to Pohara beach (visitors welcome). Takaka Golf Club

TAKAKA TO ABEL TASMAN:
Email: takaka@golf.co.nz

Kotinga and Anatoki

The flat expansive plains around Kotinga where the Anatoki River flows down to meet the Takaka River show a contrasting landscape of open dairy farm paddocks and carefully trimmed shelter belts of nashi and kiwifruit orchards.

MOTUEKA TO TAKAKA:

Te Waikoropupu Springs

The water from Te Waikoropupu Springs is slightly salty because of seawater intrusion.

There are three large freshwater springs a few kilometres offshore at depths of 12 to14 metres. It is thought that these are part of the limestone water system, and as freshwater flows out, some seawater is drawn into the vents, finding its way to the main vent at Pupu.

It is most important to protect the springs from didymo.

TAKAKA TO COLLINGWOOD: TAKAKA

The Takaka River

The Takaka River runs north for 70 kilometres joining with Waingaro River just south of Takaka township. Enjoy it for swimming or trout fishing.

Takaka Hill, as many other areas in and around the Golden Bay, has also been the location for many scenes filmed for The Lord of the Rings film trilogy.

MOTUEKA TO TAKAKA:

Wharariki Beach

Wharariki is a landscape photographer's paradise. You will enjoy taking advantage of the endless photo opportunities on offer at Wharariki Beach and surrounding areas.

COLLINGWOOD TO FAREWELL SPIT & MANGARAKAU: WHARARIKI

Takaka Valley

The descent from the Marble Mountain ends abruptly at the gentle valley floor. To the left is the turn off up to the Cobb Valley, one of the gateways to the Kahurangi National Park. The main road follows down the valley hugging the base of the Pikikiruna Range. The "Marble Mountain" is a colloquial name as it is the source of New Zealand's only quality marble rock.

MOTUEKA TO TAKAKA:

The Grove Scenic Reserve

in Clifton is a 20-minute walking track which winds through the narrow canyons in the limestone ending up at a dramatic
lookout. Picnic spot available.

TAKAKA TO ABEL TASMAN:

Abel Tasman National Park

is renowned for its golden beaches, sculpted granite cliffs and steep forested hills. There are tracks to suit all levels of fitness.
Visitors can start their tramp in Wainui Bay or take a 30-minute drive from Wainui Bay to get to Totaranui campground, or to Awaroa provided they cross the river at low tide.

TAKAKA TO ABEL TASMAN: ABEL TASMAN NATIONAL PARK

Ligar Bay, Tata Beach and Wainui Bay

The first corner after the Abel Tasman Memorial reveals the golden sandy beach and curving shoreline of Ligar Bay, now a mix of old baches and newer holiday homes.

The road then hugs a small sheltered estuary where a few keen boaties can usually be seen working on their craft.

TAKAKA TO ABEL TASMAN:

Clifton

Turn left at the crossroads in Clifton and a couple of minutes' drive brings you to the Clifton Cemetery and Reserve.

Set in peaceful, picturesque surroundings with a backdrop of saltmarsh and estuary shallows, this area was the first European cemetery in Golden Bay, burials being recorded as far back as 1856. European settlement and development of the Bay have taken many twists and turns in the century-and-a-half since then.

TAKAKA TO ABEL TASMAN:

Golden Bay Visitor Centre

For all your accommodation, transport and activities in Golden Bay and NZ

We also sell souvenir items such as Golden Bay t-shirts, Golden Bay Passports ($10 and you get discounts and specials worth up to $200) and many more.

Willow Street, Takaka

Winter open hours:
Monday - Friday 10am-3.00pm
Saturday 10 - 1pm
Sunday - closed

We have brochures, maps and a 24/7 hotline phone to providers of accommodations, activities, food and transport outside the Visitor Centre for visitors' use.

TAKAKA TOWNSHIP: TAKAKA
Golden Bay Visitor Centre Willow Street, Takaka 7110
Phone: 03-525-9136
Email: info@goldenbaynz.co.nz
Map: Click here

Milnthorpe

This is another of those places which doesn't look anything special from the highway, but a leisurely exploration down a side road reveals unsuspected pleasures. Turn down the road marked "Milnthorpe Quay" and you soon find yourself at the old wharf (hopefully to be repaired) with a fine view of the estuary.

TAKAKA TO COLLINGWOOD:

Cycle/Walkway

An off-road cycle/walkway runs from Pohara Hall along the beachfront, behind the golf course, arriving at the Clifton Reserve.

TAKAKA TO ABEL TASMAN: POHARA

Parapara and Tukurua

A fast developing area of life-style blocks and home businesses, a concentration of artists, crafts-folk, and gardens.

There are accommodation options along this stretch of coast to suit anybody's requirement.

Parapara Beach is a 10 minute drive southeast of Collingwood. At the peak Christmas-New Year period the beach has between 50 and 100 visitors a day.

TAKAKA TO COLLINGWOOD: PARAPARA

Westhaven Inlet

One of the highlights of a holiday in Golden Bay has to be the drive along the edge of the vast estuary known as Westhaven, or Whanganui Inlet.

This is the second-largest estuary in the South Island and as well as being a beautiful landscape it is an important fishing and wildlife area.

COLLINGWOOD TO FAREWELL SPIT & MANGARAKAU:

Golden Bay Cement Works

TAKAKA TO ABEL TASMAN:

The Cobb River

The Cobb River flows for twelve kilometres from the lake through a wide, glacier-formed valley set between high mountains. It eventually drains into the artificial Cobb Reservoir, formed 50 years ago when the river was dammed for hydro electricity generation. Below the reservoir, the river rambles for a further eight rather inaccessible kilometres until it joins the Takaka River below the Cobb Powerhouse. This river then winds its way down through the township of Takaka and into the wide expan

MOTUEKA TO TAKAKA:

The Cobb Valley

The Cobb Valley is one of the few places in New Zealand where the visitor can drive into and along, much of a high mountain valley carved by glaciers. There are attractions for everyone, from the most active tramper to the motorist wanting nothing more than a stimulating drive.

The 27km drive from Upper Takaka winds through the impressive Takaka River gorge, through a red and silver beech forest.

MOTUEKA TO TAKAKA:

DOC Totaranui Camp

DOC Totaranui Camp

EXPLORE:
Phone: 03-528-8083
Map: Click here

Recreational Fishing

  • Tarakohe Harbour has an all-tide boat ramp, floating pontoon, marina, boat storage and boat wash-down facility.
  • Tata Beach has a boat ramp and water-skiing lane.
  • Fishing off the rocks at Tarakohe is popular and sometimes the penguins will join you.
TAKAKA TO ABEL TASMAN:

People of the Past

Tamati Pirimona Marino was a chief at Aorere when the New Zealand Company first visited. He signed the Treaty of Waitangi and is buried at the Old Collingwood Cemetery. Fred Tyree was a pioneer photographer who recorded the early days of European settlement. His exceptional black and white images are on display at Aorere Centre, Collingwood.

COLLINGWOOD TO AORERE VALLEY:
Collingwood
The Mussel Inn Cafe Bar & Brewery
Adrift in Golden Bay - Beachfront Accommodation
Farewell Spit Eco Tours

^To top

Website by WeDoWebsites