Golden Bay New Zealand
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Golden Bay New Zealand

Golden Bay stretches along the coastline to the shores of Wharariki Beach.  The area boasts a funky arts and cafe scene that also offers fascinating historical experiences, located against a beautiful natural environment.

Takaka is the principal township and makes an ideal base for further exploration Ė not that the town itself isnít worth checking out.  The Main Street of Takaka is home to cafes, art studios and retail outlets, and also offers many opportunities to experience the fresh, local produce.  Many of New Zealandís best artists call Takaka home and their studios are generally open to the public all year round.

For history buffs, the townships in and around Golden Bay have much to offer.  Museums in Takaka, Collingwood and Rockville explore the lives of early European settlers, and also offer a plethora of heritage walks.  The old goldfields at Aoere Valley make for a fascinating day trip, even for those who arenít interested in history.  Who knows, you may just strike it rich!

If the confines of four walls are too much, Golden Bay offers myriad outdoor pursuits. The bird sanctuaryís of Farewell Spit, just outside Collingwood, are a must see for bird watchers.  The area can be explored via a four wheel drive tour.  Paynes Ford in Takaka offers the best limestone crag climbing in Australasia, with cliff heights of up to thirty metres. 

The beaches of Golden Bay are... well, golden, and look even more beautiful on horseback.  Afterwards, cool down at the sacred Te Waikoropupu Springs outside Takaka.