Golden Bay, curving gracefully from Abel Tasman National Park New Zealand around to the encircling crescent of Farewell Spit is such a place.
A place called Golden Bay has got to be something really special - a little piece of coastal paradise.
Golden Bay, curving gracefully from Abel Tasman National Park around to the encircling crescent of Farewell Spit is such a place. This hidden corner of New Zealand was valued by early Maori for its plentiful seafood and by colonial Europeans for timber, gold and other minerals. Today it’s a fertile mix of dairy farming, tourism, lifestyle blocks and arts and crafts. The one problem for casual visitors to Golden Bay is that they may never want to leave.
The bay has many scenic contrasts; deeply glaciated mountains, green lowland pastures, high alpine meadows, contorted limestone formations, dramatic coastal cliffs, bubbly freshwater springs and glistening silica and marble sand lapped by a turquoise sea. No wonder the area was chosen for a number of Lord of the Rings film scenes. The diversity of people who have made their home here is reflected in the culture, self-reliance and creative artistry in the art and craft galleries and studios.
Takaka Hill, known as ‘Marble Mountain,’ is the grand entrance to Golden Bay. Its craggy summit at 791 metres has a scenic lookout that offers a panorama of the coast, plains and mountains clear across to Nelson and the Marlborough Sounds. The nearby Ngarua Caves and the walk to the 176 metre deep Harwood’s Hole, the biggest tomo or hole in the Southern Hemisphere, show an amazing variety of weathered limestone landforms.