Destination view

Golden Bay

Golden Bay sits to the north west of Tasman Bay and the city of Nelson and Abel Tasman National Park. One road in and one road out make this a destination that requires a little more planning and determination to visit than other areas of the South Island but for those who do the reward is stunning vistas of rugged mountains, green valleys and miles of golden sand beaches. Farewell Spit which sits off the northern tip of the bay and this is the longest sand spit in the country at 25 km. It is also a nature reserve and an internationally-renowned bird sanctuary with over 90 bird species recorded in the area. Every spring, thousands of wading birds arrive from the northern hemisphere. Other birds range from black swans to sparrows. Penguins also breed in the area.

Farewell Spit Eco Tour including picnic lunch

Farewell Spit Eco Tour including picnic lunch

Farewell Spit Nature Reserve is a bird sanctuary and wetland of international importance, around 35km long and public access is restricted to the first 4km. More strictly protected than a national park, vehicle access is granted only to supervised tours. Onetahua is the Maori name for Farewell Spit and translated means "heaped up sand".
The Farewell Spit Eco Tour which, as well as exploring the spit, stops in Puponga and at the most northern point on the South island, Cape Farewell. From the cliff top, seals and their pups can be seen all year basking on the rocks below. At the Farewell Spit Lighthouse there is time to explore around the historic buildings and enjoy the  refreshments provided in the century old lighthouse keepers' residence. Along the beach you have stunning views of the Tasman coastline and the opportunity to climb the sand dune at Mullet Channel for panoramic views of the inter-tidal plain and a stop at Fossil Point, where fossilised shells and worm casts emerge from blocks of mudstone cliffs.

Golden Bay Kayaks Family Guided Tour

Golden Bay Kayaks Family Guided Tour

Explore the spectacular Abel Tasman National Park with Golden Bay Kayaks. Leave from Tata Beach in Golden Bay for a fun-filled tour of the local culture, heritage and ecological diversity. Visit New Zealand's largest shag colony, paddle through a magnificent granite archway and explore the areas beautiful beaches. A great tour for the family, enjoy an incredible day on the ocean with your friendly and knowledgeable guides.

New Zealand touring ideas

A popular style of touring is to take a preplanned self drive road trip.  After a thorough consultation with you we expertly plan and create your self drive tour around New Zealand allows you the freedom to explore at leisure with the comfort and security of pre-booked activities and accommodations. Route suggestions, GPS and APP guidance plus local support mean you are in safe hands. See self drive ideas here

If you prefer to let someone else do the work then an escorted small group tour or a private guided tour might be for you. Our range of hand picked small group itineraries are ideal if you prefer to travel in the company of like minded people. These tours limit the number of participants which means different accommodation options, exclusive activities and of course a knowledgable guide ensures you get to see the best of New Zealand. See our small group tours here. 

A private guided tour offers true flexibility and the security of a knowledgable local guiding you all the way. Well planned itineraries ensure you see exactly what you want to see but with your own driver-guide you can adapt to suit the day or your preference. 100% tailor-made to suit you a private tour is a great option when travelling as a small group. all our self drive itineraries can be replanned and priced using a private driver and guide. Just contact us to discuss your needs.

All North Island touring ideas - explore the diverse North Island with these itinerary suggestions. See here

All South Island touring ideas - Iconic scenery and landscapes await on this made for touring island. See here

All Nationwide touring ideas - see the best of New Zealand on these all encompassing touring itinerary ideas. See here

Read our blogs on New Zealand travel