For me, this beach is the star attraction of Golden Bay. Yes, you have to walk there from the car park (15 – 20 minutes), but it is so worth the effort!
I think Wharariki is probably not so well known by name because of the difficulty in pronouncing it. But the scenery is now very well known – featuring on both wallpaper and a lock screen in Windows 10. Wharariki also recently features in the New Zealand Automobile Association’s “10 of the best views in the South Island”.
In addition to the scenic attractions – the archway Islands, caves, sculpted sand dunes – there are also the seals. Seals can often be seen by the stream on the walk to the beach, but the highlight in summer is the nursery pool where the young seals are left to play while their parents go out fishing. This is best seen at low tide.