Golden Bay is nestled into the South Island’s north-west corner. A chain of steep and rugged mountains cuts its fertile river plains and valleys from the rest of the island.
The Bay’s wonderful outdoor environment attracts regular summer holiday makers year after year, but an increasing number of visitors are discovering that the area can be enjoyed all year round. Most of the time here it is sunny, warm, calm and quiet (except for the birds twittering!).
In this hidden corner of New Zealand are the Kahurangi and Abel Tasman National Parks as well as the famous Farewell Spit and Te Waikoropupu (Pupu) Springs.
From Pohara in the east to Puponga in the west, there is a string of safe, shallow, fine sand beaches. To the west, Wharariki is one of Golden Bay’s gems – huge sand dunes, islands, caves and wild water.
The Heaphy Track is one of New Zealand’s “Great Walks”, and goes 82km through Kahurangi National Park from the hills above the Aorere Valley to the West Coast north of Karamea. It is typically a 4–5 day hike. www.heaphytrack.com.
The Aorere valley follows up the river from Collingwood, at the river mouth, through Rockville and Bainham, to Brown Hut at the start of the Heaphy Track. Rockville is home to the Settlers’ Museum – in the former Rockville Dairy Factory – which houses a range of farm machinery and