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Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Farewell Spit and the long curve of Golden Bay dominate this satellite image (composite Landsat image)

Golden Bay lies at the edge of the junction between the Tasman Sea and Cook Strait. It stretches for 45 kilometres from the long sand spit of Farewell Spit in the north to Separation Point in Abel Tasman National Park at its southern extremity. Beyond this point, the larger of the two bays at the top of the South Island, Tasman Bay, begins.

The northern part of the bay is largely devoid of population; the southern part contains the populous but small plains around the mouth of the Takaka River. Between the two lies the small town of Collingwood. Other than the Takaka River, the Aorere River is the main watercourse to reach the sea at Golden Bay.

Abel Tasman entering the bay

Dutch explorer Abel Tasman anchored in this bay in 1642. However, the resulting hostile encounter with the local Māori when a party from his ships tried to land caused him to bestow upon it the name Murderers Bay. English explorer James Cook renamed it Golden Bay during his voyage of discovery in 1769.

Coordinates: 40°40′S 172°50′E / 40.667°S 172.833°E / -40.667; 172.833


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Golden Bay[1] is a very beautiful, relatively untouched and quiet corner of the South Island of New Zealand that is often overlooked by travelers.

Understand

Golden Bay is where Abel Tasman and his crew, the first european explorers to discover New Zealand, landed in 1642.

Get in

Drive over the Takaka Hill.

  • Beaches. Golden sand - what else - in bay called golden.
  • Pupu spring. One of the largest, by volume, fresh water springs in the world.
  • Farewell Spit. A long sand dune reaching far into the water
  • Cape Farewell. The northern most point of the South Island
  • Wharariki Beach. A spectacular beach close to Cape Farewell
  • Whanganui Inlet. A very remote inlet on the west coast. Drive further south to Anatori for spectacular beaches and rock formations
  • Walk the Heaphy Track to Karamea.
  • Go Caving in Harwood's Hole and other cave systems in the area.
  • Golden Salami. Salami shop on the road south of Takaka.
  • The Mussel Inn beers and cider, either drink them on location at Onekaka or purchase a bottle from the supermarket in Takaka.

Stay safe

Before you get off the road and go off exploring the great outdoors let someone know where you are going and when you will be back. Do not underestimate this land and the risks that it presents to the ill-prepared traveler. If you have any doubts, seek out a local guide familiar with the area you intent to explore.

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