Activities & Things to Do in Golden Bay

Golden Bay is surrounded by two of New Zealand's most spectacular national parks.  Together they offer glistening, golden sand beaches; turquoise, crystal clear waters;  lush native rain forest; alpine meadows and snowy mountain ranges


  Cape Farewell Horse TreksGolden Bay KayaksFarewell Spit Tour


Golden Bay is enjoyable all year as we have a climate that rivals that of the Mediterranean (but milder in winter) and is ideal year-round for outdoor activities.  Summertime day temperatures are usually 23 (73of) to 28oC (82of), and even in mid-winter, daytime temperatures in Golden Bay usually reach 13-18oC.  This very mild climate together with the Nelson region's high sunshine hours ensures that the beautiful outdoors of Golden Bay can be enjoyed during all seasons.


One of the most frequent comments from guests is that they wished that they had stayed longer...  One reason is that there is so much to experience.


Golden Bay Walks and Hiking

By far the most popular activity enjoyed by our guests.  Because there are so many, we have compiled a separate page listing the most popular day walks around Golden Bay, all within one hour's drive of Adrift.   Popular Golden Bay Day Walks & Attractions (click to view)  Some of the more famous hikes are highlighted in the National Parks section.


Farewell Spit Tour

One of the longest natural sandbars in the world!  Explore the unique landscape of the highly protected Farewell Spit on a 4WD bus with Farewell Spit Tours that take you through the reserve, along the length of the sand spit to the historic lighthouse.



Horse Trekking in Golden Bay

Hack n Stay offers riders of all experience levels, opportunities to learn more about the foundations of good horsemanship whilst experiencing the stunning coastal scenery of Golden Bay on horseback. With a focus on teaching light and balanced riding, their guided holistic horse riding experiences are so much more than just a trail ride.


Kayaking and Paddleboarding in Golden Bay and Abel Tasman National Park

We have two sit-on surf kayaks, a double kayak and a SUP (stand-up paddle board) available for guests to enjoy the sheltered waters of Tukurua.  To explore other areas of Golden Bay's coastline Golden Bay Kayaks offer half-day guided tours or independent double kayak hire in the Abel Tasman National Park.  They also offer stand-up paddle boarding, with fitness sessions, independent hire, lessons, and guided tour options. 


Scenic Cruise in Abel Tasman National Park

Join the Abel Tasman Sea Shuttle at the beautiful Totaranui for a full scenic cruise through the Abel Tasman NatiPark park to Kaiteriteri arriving at lunchtime. You have various return times available during the afternoon.


Scenic Flights in Golden Bay and North-West Nelson

Golden Bay Air and Adventure Flights Golden Bay operate a charter flight service and scenic flights over Golden Bay.


Rest and Relaxation

Experience an indulgent massage in your villa at Adrift (please ask for contact details) or rejuvenate yourself with a facial, massage or spa at Aroha Health Spa in Pohara.


Distillery Cellar Doors

Golden Bay is home to two award-winning, internationally recognized distilleries.  Drop into Dancing Sands Distillery in Takaka for a free tasting and to learn more about how they make their products. View the still and their production area from the cellar door and have a chat with their friendly staff about the process.  Kiwi Spirit is located in Motupipi (5 min from Takaka) - relax in the sun under the wisteria-covered pergola and enjoy the selection of their tasting cocktails. 


Golfing in Golden Bay

Just a five-minute drive from Adrift, Onekaka Links Golf Club with its 18-hole course, enjoys a stunning location with panoramic views across the Bay.  Exclusive use of the links for a group up to four is $240 and includes a personal guide, the use of an electric golf cart and two electric trundlers plus complimentary after-round drinks and snacks.

Our local 9-hole course at Takaka Golf Club is right alongside the seashore at Pohara where you can enjoy panoramic views of Golden Bay and the mountains from the course and clubhouse.


Fishing in the Bay

Fly fishing - both saltwater and freshwater are popular in Golden Bay.  In particular, saltwater fly fishing off a beach 20 minutes north of Adrift has become well-known worldwide New Zealand Trout Adventures can provide half or full-day guiding.

Take a day out to go fishing with Wildcat Charters.

You can try to land a salmon or two at Anatoki Salmon where you only pay for what you catch and have it smoked or sashimi for you while you enjoy a cold drink.


Golden Bay Arts Trail

The arts community in Golden Bay is vibrant and varied, catering to many tastes and expressions.  Tour the region and visit professional studios and their resident artists.  The Golden Bay Arts Trail guide is available at reception.



Caving in Golden Bay

Mount Arthur in the Kahurangi National Park, boasts the deepest and most extensive cave system in the Southern Hemisphere.  On top of Takaka Hill (on the way to Adrift from Nelson/Christchurch) is Ngarua Caves, offering guided tours hourly from 10 am-4 pm through summer.  A self-guided visit to the breathtaking Rawhiti Cave mouth just south of Takaka is another highly recommended half-day trip.


Mountain Biking in Golden Bay

Golden Bay has one of the best downhill mountain bike trails in New Zealand, the Rameka Track (recently voted Number 83 in New Zealand's nationwide poll "101 Must-dos for Kiwis").  Starting at the summit of Takaka Hill, it descends almost 1000 vertical metres through the native bush.

One-way transport to the top of Marble Mountain and excellent rental bikes are available in Takaka.

It is possible to mountain bike the Heaphy Track from May 1st until September 30th each year.  The track can be done in one day by a very fit cyclist but only when daylight hours permit and a minimum of 2 days each way is highly recommended.


Golden Bay Rock Climbing

Golden Bay sits between 2 large limestone outcrops, one in Kahurangi National Park and one in Abel Tasman National Park.  This affords some excellent and varied climbs, the best known being Payne's For15-minute drive from Adrift).