Golden Bay

Golden Bay is one of New Zealand’s most diverse and appealing holiday destinations. Nestled into the South Island’s north-west corner it sees one of the highest sunshine hours in the country – a chain of steep and rugged mountains protecting the rich alluvial plains, bubbling freshwater springs and clean clear rivers. Its population is a mixed bunch of lifestylers who are as friendly as you will find anywhere. It is also the gateway to one of New Zealand’s most treasured national parks – Able Tasman.


This area has a rich Maori/European history. When Dutch explorer Abel Tasman sailed into New Zealand waters in 1642 on the Heemskerck and Zeehaen he rounded Farewell Spit and anchored in Golden Bay, making the first known contact with Maori. Confusion and misunderstanding led to confrontation, and there was loss of life on both sides. So Tasman quickly sailed away before sailing up the west coast of the North Island. After another sighting of Maori, on the Three Kings Islands, they left New Zealand waters on 6 January 1643. Tasman’s voyage is a landmark milestone in New Zealand history. There is no earlier written record; no earlier known meeting.


The fishing here is good with plenty of Blue Cod year round and snapper and kingfish in good numbers over the summer months. The beaches are also renowned for their shellfish with Cockles, Pipis, Tuatuas and deeper species like surf clams and geoducks in plentiful supply.


Must Do's

Walk the Heaphy Track.

Take a tour up Farewell Spit.

Check out the limestone caves in the Area.

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