Takaka is located at the south eastern end of Golden Bay in the Nelson region. With a community that includes many alternative lifestylers, it’s a town full of character. There’s a small museum, a movie theatre and a great choice of shops and cafés. The town also offers plenty of value-for-money accommodation, including backpacker lodges, B & Bs and homestays. If you’re planning to hike in Kahurangi National Park, Takaka is a good place to take on essential supplies. Other nearby attractions include Waikoropupu Springs, the largest freshwater springs in New Zealand, and an art trail that will reveal the region’s creativity. Functional facts: Approx. population 1150, good range of shops and services, i-SITE Visitor Centre.