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You could say Golden Bay is a special hidden paradise in New Zealand. It is surprising how many people think that Abel Tasman is the finish of the Tasman area, but little do they know that the real beauty is hidden behind the big Takaka hill.
Golden Bay is the hidden gem of New Zealand, with amazing land formations and panoramic views. Come and see these 5 amazing destinations and you will agree that this is an area worth sending more time in.
1) Farewell Spit
Farewell Spit is an amazing sight. It is New Zealand's longest spit (30km) and a nature reserve. It is internationally famous not only for its many whale stranding, but also a renowned bird sanctuary with over 90 bird species recorded in the area. Bar tailed godwits, knots, curlews, whimbrels and turnstones fly around 12,000 kilometres every northern hemisphere autumn to spend the summer here in the south. The spit also has a gannet colony. Take a guided tour of this internationally-renowned bird sanctuary or explore Puponga Farm Park with Farewell Spit Nature Tours.
2) Wharariki Beach
Wharariki Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen and I consider myself spoilt with scenery. Wharariki Beach, just a few kilometres from Farewell Spit and the northern-most tip of the South Island, used to be something of a well-kept secret. Yes it is a 20 minute walk to the beach, but you will be rewarded with a truly beautiful sight and may even see the young seal pups performed lazy barrel-rolls in the small pools. For more information on getting to Wharariki Beach click here. or another great way to explore this area is with Cape Farewell Horse Treks
3) Whanganui Inlet
It is certainly in a rather remote place of New Zealand, however it makes it that much more beautiful. The Whanganui Inlet is the second largest estuary in the South Island and the least modified estuary in New Zealand. Westhaven is the first estuary in New Zealand to be protected by a combination of marine and wildlife reserve. The landscape is a rare combination of lush native coastal forest and tidal channels.
A wonderful place to stay at near Whanganui Inlet is Westhaven Retreat, one of New Zealand's finest Luxury Lodges. The lodge offers luxury accommodation as well as kayaking tours in the estuary. Walks from the Westhaven peninsula also lead directly to the Whanganui Inlet.
4) Pupu Springs
‘Pupu Springs' ,or Waikoropupu as its full name is, are the largest freshwater springs in Australasia and reputedly the clearest in the world. The water for this spring originates in the undisturbed forests located many kilometres uphill, where it submerges into the underwater Karst limestone river system, to surface here and further out in sea. About 14,000 litres of water per second surges from underground vents, creating 'dancing sands' and swirling curious plantlife throughout colourful pools, which are viewed from a network of tracks and are off-limits for swimming.
It is only a 30 minute walk to the springs and back. Click here for more information about Pupu Springs
5) Kahurangi National Park
Kahurangi National Park is the second largest national park in New Zealand. the park starts from the NW tip of the South Island at Farewell Spit and covers 570km of incredible tramping tracks spanning 452,000ha from Golden Bay in the north, south to Murchison and Tapawera, and to the West Coast of the South Island.
Walks through the park range from 20 minutes to 10 days. To get more information about the beautiful hiking trails through the Kahurangi National Park, have a look at this website. Kahurangi National Park Information