Golden Bay lies between Abel Tasman and Kahurangi National Parks. It was the first place in New Zealand to be spotted by Abel Tasman in 1624 and 214 years later it was the site of the country’s first gold rush.
Today it is popular with travellers as a base to explore the Kahurangi National Park, Farewell Spit, and the Wanganui Inlet Rainforest Estuary. It is also home to Tewaikoropupu Springs (aka Pupu Springs) – one of the largest freshwater springs in the world. The area is full of small towns and alternative communities, yoga retreats and rural pubs. This interesting mix makes the area worth exploring in depth – at least for a day or two. Takaka has charming little cafés and great vegetarian and organic options, and is the last stop for cheap groceries if you are heading north.