Follow the coast from Picton to Collingwood and discover some of Nelson's most picture-perfect scenery.
The Treasured Pathway is a self-guided scenic drive through Marlborough and Nelson. The journey begins in the port town of Picton, where the inter-island ferry provides a connection between the North and South Islands. You'll follow spectacular Queen Charlotte Drive to Havelock. Highlights include lookout points, easy walking tracks and safe swimming beaches.Beyond Havelock is Canvastown, which began as a tent city in the 1864 Wakamarina gold rush. At Pelorus Bridge there are beautiful forest walks and riverside picnic areas. In Tasman Bay you can turn off to charming Cable Bay, site of New Zealand's first international telegraph cable station.
When you reach Nelson, think about shopping for an artful souvenir. This city is home to many professional artists and crafts people. On Saturday mornings, the Nelson market is humming with creative energy. After the town of Richmond, follow the coast west past apple orchards and craft studios. Rabbit Island is a detour you can make - to get there, you'll cross a bridge over the South Island's biggest estuary. Take a break in Motueka, a town with plenty of character and great cafes.
The trip over Takaka Hill to Golden Bay passes unusual karst landforms, amongst them the Riwaka Resurgence, Harwoods Hole and an interesting collection of lookouts, caves and bluffs. The last section of the Treasured Pathway skirts glorious Golden Bay to the northern tip of the South Island. Takaka township is a fascinating mix of eras, well recorded in the museum. Beyond lies Waikoropupu Springs, the clearest fresh water spring in the country.Historic Collingwood is the starting point for safaris to the internationally significant bird habitat of Farewell Spit. At the base of the spit numerous walking opportunities reveal the secrets of Puponga Farm Park, including the wildly beautiful Wharariki Beach.