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 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 wormcasts emerge from blocks of mudstone cliffs.
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.