Popular Golden Bay Walks



Te Waikoropupu Springs ("Pupu Springs")

Features:  A whole river emerges from an underground cave system.  The world's most transparent fresh water.

Drive time to walk: 15 min south towards Takaka

Walk time:  30 min return, very easy

Not to be missed.  One of New Zealand's most visited reserves.  A circular track through native bush takes walkers past old gold mine workings and a series of springs.


Wharariki Beach

Features:  Wild West Coast beach - huge white dunes, caves and stunning rock formations.

Drive to walk: 40 min north towards Farewell Spit.

Walk time:  between 40 min - 2 hours return, easy but there is a steepish drop-off on one side of a section of the track (this can be avoided by walking along the top of the hill).

Very highly recommended.  Made all the more attractive by the fact that there is no vehicle access directly to the beach and requires a 20 min walk across picturesque farmland from the car park.


Totaranui to Mutton Cove, Abel Tasman National Park

Features:  The northern coast of Abel Tasman park is the most attractive and quietest part of the park.  Golden sand beaches and crystal clear water.

Drive time to walk:  45 min south around the bay.  A beautiful drive through Abel Tasman National Park to Totatanui in the very centre of the park.

Walk time:  2 hours each way from Totaranui to Mutton Cove.  Easy but can include a side trip to Separation Point (seal colony) which is a steep, rocky track.  Leave time for a swim, relax on the beach, or explore additional walks from Totaranui.


Pupu Hydro Walkway

Features: bird life, history, scenery.

Drive time to walk:  15 min south towards Takaka

Walk time: 2 hours round trip. Strenuous uphill, Boardwalk is stunning but not recommended for people with a fear of heights.


Wainui Falls

Features:  A walk through various landscapes including New Zealand native bush to one of the best waterfalls in the region.

Drive time to walk:  40min south around the bay.


Kaituna Track

Features:  Native bush, old goldmine workings.

Drive time to walk:  20 min north towards Bainham

Walk time:  20 min - 3 hours return.  Easy

It is possible to follow the track to the Westhaven Inlet on the West Coast (an 8-hour tramp).  Most people prefer to walk only to the site of the old gold workings (20min) or on to the river forks (an easy 3-hour return walk).


The Grove Reserve

Features:  Dramatic karst limestone features and a view over Golden Bay.

Drive time to walk:  20 min south past Takaka towards Pohara.

Walk time:  30 min return.  Easy.

The walk wanders past towering columns of limestone covered with creepers and heavy sub-tropical native vegetation.


Fossil Point

Features:  A walk over farmland leading to a wild sandy beach with rocks containing fossils at low tide.  A view down the northern side of the Farewell Spit.

Drive time to walk:  30 min north to the base of the Farewell Spit.

Walk time:  2 hours return.  Easy.


Abel Tasman Walks south of Totaranui

Features:  Abel Tasman coastline.  Walk sandy bays usually combined with a water taxi trip.

Drive time to walk:  45 min south

Walk time:  Various



Taupo Point

Features:  A quiet beach walk with interesting rock formations and sandy coves finishing at a historic Maori settlement.

Drive time to walk:  40 min south

Walk time:  2 hours return. Access is tide-dependent.


Rawhiti Cave

Features:  Follows a river valley to a stunning cave entrance covered with a multitude of stalactite formations.

Drive time to walk:  30 min south.

Walk time:  3 hours return.  Easy but to get to the cave, there is a long series of switchbacks that are quite demanding.


Salisbury Bridge and Falls

Features:  A historic foot bridge built during the gold mining days leads to Salisbury Falls and a swimming hole.

Drive time to walk:  30min north-west.

Walk time: 10 min.  Easy.


Milthorpe Park

Features:  An extensive network of walks in a forest of native trees and shrubs and towering eucalyptus trees bordering a quiet often deserted beach.

Drive time to walk:  7 min north.

Walk time: 20 min to several hours (to walk all the tracks).  Easy.


Hiltop Walk

Features:  Wild West Coast beach - stunning rock formations, extensive views of the coast and Farewell Spit.

Drive to walk: 40 min north to the base of Farewell Spit.

Walk time:  2 hours to 6 hours (for all 3 sections). Can be walked a section at a time or in its entirety, medium easy but there is a steep cliff on one side of some sections of the track.