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  • Pied shag
  • Pohara Beach, Golden Bay
  • Taupo Point, Golden Bay
  • Te Waikorupupu Springs, Golden Bay, New Zealand
  • Paton's Rock beach
  • Octopus hunting
  • Nosey Weka
  • Sea kayak
  • Ligar Bay
  • Whariwharangi Bay

Golden Bay at the top of the south island of New Zealand

Safe Swimming Beaches, Forests to Explore, Hidden Gems to Discover, Amazing Sights to be Seen

From Wainui Bay at the start of the Abel Tasman National Park to Puponga at the base of Farewell Spit, Golden Bay has a fabulous stretch of beaches, to swim, relax and enjoy.

Flat-bottomed and largely free of hazards, you can find most of the South Island's best swimming beaches right here. Even in the peak of Summer, if you feel like a walk, it is no problem to find an almost deserted stretch of beach just for you and your friends.

If you want some action we have a variety of trails for your mountain bike to experience, bush walks, waterfalls and unusual rock formations to disocver on your travels around the bay.

Also an abundance of local artists to choose from in all sorts of mediums. From photography, painting, jewellers to carvers and blacksmiths.

Golden Bay is a truly dynamic and interesting place to visit and collect unforgettable memories of our slice of paradise and the people who live in it.

Pohara Beach

Pohara Beach Golden Bay
Pohara Beach Golden Bay

Golden Bay is blessed with many many kilometres of gorgeous safe-swimming sandy beaches.

However, of them all, Pohara is the only one with cafes, bars, restaurants, a golf course, art galleries, kayak hire, blo-kart hire - you name it.

Pohara is probably Golden Bay's tourism capital (though that could be hotly debated).

Ligar Bay

Ligar Bay, Golden Bay
Ligar Bay, Golden Bay

A few minute's drive from Pohara is Ligar Bay, resplendent with golden sand, barbecue areas, shady trees and great safe swimming at high tide.

Tata Beach

Tata Island, Golden Bay
Tata Island, Golden Bay

About five minute's drive from Pohara, Tata's water is a little colder than Pohara's but you can swim here at low tide.

Tata also has a boat ramp.

Shags gather on Tata Beach before dawn and swallow sand before heading out to feed for the day.

The sand apparently serves as ballast when they dive, and may also help them digest their food.

Wainui Falls

Wainui Falls, Golden Bay
Wainui Falls, Golden Bay

A moderately easy 45 minute return walk through beautiful bush and following the scenic Wainui River leads you across a swing bridge to Wainui Falls.

Especially dramatic after a good rain, Wainui Falls is an excellent half-day outing, just a 20 minute drive from Pohara.

Taupo Point, Golden Bay

Taupo Point, Golden Bay
Taupo Point, Golden Bay

An excellent half-day walk from Wainui Bay into a less-frequented part of the Abel Tasman National Park. An absolutely stunning beach with James Bond movie-style rock formations and golden sand.

Best to walk there at low tide, stay the day and return at the next low tide if possible.There is a high tide track, and no shade to speak of, so take your own shade if possible.

Enjoy the sights of Taupo Point and many other coves and bays in the Abel Tasman National Park onboard a scenic trip with Leigh.

Milnthorpe Park

Milnthorpe Park
Milnthorpe Park

A great place to visit - especially if the weather is looking dodgy. Milnthorpe features a network of easy walking tracks through regenerating forest.

In amongst the trees you will discover numerous artworks left by local artists during annual week-long art happenings.

Once you've had enough of exploring the bush tracks, head out across the little stone causeway to beautiful Milnthorpe Beach.

The Grove

Grove Scenic Reserve
Grove Scenic Reserve

Just a short drive from Takaka you will find an amazing walk on the wild side at the Grove Scenic Reserve. A 20 minute walking track makes its way easily upwards to a viewing platform through a series of limestone blocks, some sculptured into weird and wonderful shapes by water.

The tentacle-like roots of northern rata trees that hang down many of the blocks create an eerie atmosphere. Nikau palms are also a feature of the reserve. From the viewing platform you can overlook the Clifton farmland out over to the estuary.

Kaihoka Lakes

Kaihoka Lakes, great swimming
Kaihoka Lakes, great swimming

A beautiful spot on Golden Bay's west coast.

Kaihoka Lakes features a picnic area on the lakeshore and a 30 minute return walk through a nikau palm grove to a second lake.

An excellent place to come for a picnic.

Golden Bay's Wild West

Golden Bay's west coast
Golden Bay's west coast

Take a trip back in time to the west coast of Golden Bay.

This is Golden Bay's rustic rural hinterland and it is well worth an explore.

Head down to Kaihoka, Paturau and Anatori and you'll really be getting away from it all in majestic scenic style.

Wharariki Beach

Wharariki Beach, Golden Bay
Wharariki Beach, Golden Bay

A fantastic day trip. Drive almost to the base of Farewell Spit and head west. A 25 minute walk following a well-marked track across farmland leads you to a spectacular west coast beach.

Explore to your heart's content and you will find huge sea caves, sand dunes and a rock pool that serves as a nursery for curious and playful seal pups.

Be prepared to stay all day and take sun protection, food and water. There is a cafe at the car park. Sunset at Wharariki is often stunning.

Cobb Valley

Cobb Valley and reservoir
Cobb Valley and reservoir

A narrow winding road (unsuitable for large campervans) winds up into alpine country and the spectacular Cobb Reservoir.

Journey on to the top of the lake where the road ends and you will be in one of the most magical landscapes Golden Bay has to offer.

Numerous tracks lead from the Cobb Valley into the beautiful Kahurangi National Park.

Totaranui Beach

Totaranui Beach
Totaranui Beach

Totaranui Beach is located in the Abel Tasman National Park, and is noted for the golden colour of its sand, more intense than other beaches in the Park. It is a great base for activities - relax on the beach, swim, kayak, fish or explore the nearby stands of native bush by walking one of the many tracks.

  • Totaranui Beach, Abel Tasman National Park
  • Wainui Falls
  • Abel Tasman Memorial & Ligar Bay
  • Sunrise at the Abel Tasman Memorial
  • Milnthorpe Scenic Reserve
  • The Grove Scenic Reserve
  • Ligar Bay

Thankyou Leigh, we all had a fantastic time (even me!) Lots of fish and a great selection too. Wonderful views of Golden Bay. Vert interesting from the water, a new perspective. A great day out thanks for taking such great care of us. I'll enjoy the blue cod that I caught. Fresh fish yum!

Jo from Feilding, Tim & Anna, Blenheim, Felicity & Dan, Havelock North.

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Wildcat Fishing Charters
Pohara, Takaka, Golden Bay
New Zealand
Lat, Long: -40.837631, 172.873003
Phone: +64 27 613 6873 | Mobile: | Email:

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