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Golden Bay - best base location?

Miami Beach, Fl
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Golden Bay - best base location?

We're looking to spend a low key two weeks at Golden Bay and I'm totally confused as to where might be a good area to base ourselves. I'm not sure how the roads are and the driving times, so what I'm thinking of are two possible approaches. I'd really appreciate some insight and suggestions!

1. Choose a bach that seems to be in the middle of Golden Bay and stay for two weeks.

2. Choose two bachs, one on each end of Golden Bay and stay in each for one week.

We're interested in exploring and also just hanging out each day so my husband & I can do our creative projects.

Here's what looks interesting:

Takaka - artist and craftspeople - Golden Bay Artists Trail, visiting studios

Wharariki Beach & unique landforms, in western Golden Bay

Cape Farewell/Pillar Point Lighthouse Track – from Wharariki Beach -5km one way

Pupu Springs

Farewell Spit day tour

Walking in Able Tasman and Kahurangi National Parks

Exploring ....

Enjoy eating in local places

If there are places where we might listen to live music at night that would be fun

Thanks in advance!

California
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1. Re: Golden Bay - best base location?

I can't help you with base place(s) to stay. But can I add to your list of things to do and see? They are all on the Takaka end.

The Grove Scenic Reserve

Rawhiti Caves

Wainui Falls Track

The Grove and Rawhiti are really close to one another. The Grove is an easy 30-minute stroll. You'll need about an hour and a half for Rawhiti, and the ascent to the caves can be quite steep in places. We never made it to Rawhiti because there was quite a storm that passed through just prior to us getting there. We crossed the dry stream bed and got about 400 meters when we heard water rushing. We dashed back and across just in time. So if you go, I'll live vicariously through you.

Wainui Falls Track is about an hour return to the falls.

New Zealand
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for South Island
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2. Re: Golden Bay - best base location?

Takaka will suit you well - stunning beach, lively community, many cafes and no doubt some places will offer live music.

Takaka is about 45 minutes from Wharariki Beach etc

I also adore Patons Rock, small seaside community, but it means you would have to drive to restaurants etc.

Lots of websites to check - bookabach, holiday homes, holidays houses etc.

Many homes will be let a year in advance by the same returning families, best book early to ensure a spot.

Best of luck :)

Takaka, New Zealand
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3. Re: Golden Bay - best base location?

If you stay in a central location you are never more than 45 min drive time from all the attractions you mention, The Mussel Inn is probably the best venue for entertainment in Golden Bay which is also right in the middle of Golden Bay so I think option 1 would be best,

Nelson-Tasman...
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4. Re: Golden Bay - best base location?

We spend a lot of time in Golden bay and I would recommend you spend a just over week in Pohara and under a week in Collingwood or Pakawau or the northern end of the park.

the roads are narrow and winding and it would be snesible to explore Takaka, Abel Tasman, beaches,

wainui waterfall walk, Anatoki salmon. .there are nice cafes in Pohara. Pupi springs nearby and artists. Their arent as many eating options at the Northern end so stock up before you go.

but it is lovely to be in puponga or pakawau and be away from the bussle and hassle.

the beaches are quieter. More wildlife. Pick cockles from the lowtide for dinner. Many great walks Around

wharariki and farwell spit lookout and cafe is interesting. Also the native possum a great trip and the walk from there.

the Old school house cafe in Pakawau is lovely, but check it open at the time you go.

choose a good day and it is stunning.

New Zealand
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5. Re: Golden Bay - best base location?

I find Collingwood underwhelming - possibly as it is half mudflats when the tide is out and I have never found mudflats at all scenic.

South Island
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6. Re: Golden Bay - best base location?

Golden Bay is one of the South Islands most fascinating locations. Having lived there over the summer months It has the most amazing community of artists and musicians. The Mussel Inn is a great venue for musos and well worth a visit. There is a Tibetian retreat called the Shamballah close by, and a great place to stay. Its not 5 star accom but for those who recognize the spiritual values of Nature and appreciate a serene location its worth a couple of nights.

The drive to Collingwood is on fairly narrow road but Farewell Spit lookout and the beaches west of there make for great exploring.

Miami Beach, Fl
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7. Re: Golden Bay - best base location?

Thank you all for your food for thought!

I'm going to spend some time on the internet and see what I can find.

Thanks bunches!

Miami Beach, Fl
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8. Re: Golden Bay - best base location?

If you had 6 weeks and could divide the time anyway you wanted between the Wanaka area and Golden Bay, how would you split the time?

The more I read on-line about Golden Bay, I am wondering if we might enjoy more than two weeks in the area. I had been thinking of splitting the time with 4 weeks in the Wanaka area and 2 in Golden Bay. We are thinking of this 6 week period as a sort of creative retreat. We want to spend time in nature (walking/hiking/exploring), living in bachs that let the outside nature in (big windows and outdoor space looking out onto nature), and enjoying quiet time each day for our creative projects. I am into nature photography - particularly trees with unusual shapes or form, or in a unique setting, but also water and mountains. My husband loves to read, play his guitar and arrange/compose music. I'm intrigued about staying and exploring an area that has attracted so many artists and is surrounded by two national parks with such natural beauty. I wonder what that will feel like.

Any comments and insights would be appreciated!

New Zealand
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9. Re: Golden Bay - best base location?

50/50 might suit.

Both locations offer excellent photo ops and each is an active art hub.

I really think you can't go wrong with any split - except you might wish for longer in both places!

enjoy :)

California
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10. Re: Golden Bay - best base location?

"I am into nature photography - particularly trees with unusual shapes or form,"

In that case, the half hour stroll through The Grove is going to take you much longer!