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, alongside 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.  Summer time day temperatures are usually 23oC (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 arranged to stay longer!  One reason being that there is so much to experience; from short, simple beach or bush walks to guided day tours, scenic flights, horse treks, kayaking or boat cruises through the Abel Tasman.


Golden Bay Walks and Hiking:

By far the most popular activity enjoyed by our guests.


Tukurua Beach

From Adrift in Golden Bay, it is possible at low tide to walk north along the beach for 10km to Collingwood or south for 15 km almost to Takaka.

The Mussel Inn is a pleasant 3km walk partially along the beach.

Click below to see a list of some of the most popular day walks in Golden Bay, all within one hours drive of Adrift in Golden Bay.  Some of the more famous walks are discussed in the National Parks section.


Popular Golden Bay Day Walks & Attractions (click to view)


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.


Horse Trekking in Golden Bay

Several locations in Golden Bay were used in the filming of "The Hobbit" Trilogy and the other Lord of the Rings films.

The first Hobbit film "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" featured the private property of Kaihoka Station (west coast of Golden Bay).  Fans can get a good feel for the filming location with Cape Farewell Horse Treks.  It is possible to ride across private farmland to the dramatic limestone cliff top which offers spectacular coastal views over Golden Bay.  A great way to experience some dramatic scenery.


Kayaking and Paddle boarding 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 use to enjoy the sheltered waters of Tukurua.  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 National 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 operates a charter flight service and scenic flights over Golden Bay.

Sailing in Golden Bay

Just 2 km north of our accommodation, a variety of small sailboats can be hired at a very nominal fee for sailing in the sheltered waters of the Para Para Inlet.  Sailboards are also available.


Rest and Relaxation

Experience an indulgent massage in your own cottage at Adrift or rejuvenate yourself with a facial, massage or a spa at Aroha Health Spa in Pohara or Touch of Beauty in Takaka.


Golfing in Golden Bay

Our local 9 hole course at Takaka Golf Club is right along side 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 fresh are popular in Golden Bay. I particular salt water fly fishing off a beach 20 minutes north from Adrift has become well known world -wide New Zealand Trout Adventures can provide half or full day guiding.

Take a day out to go fishing with Wildcat Charters.

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

Fish our beautiful clear rivers for trout, we have two local fly-fishing guides who also offer salt-water fly fishing for king fish in the Collingwood Estuary. .

Spend some time out in Golden Bay sea fishing or dredging (in season) for scallops

Bring home your trophies to grill on the barbecue!


Farm Visits

Anatoki Tame Eels & Cafe , located next to Anatoki Salmon, began as a farm for alpacas, llamas and sheep but now has developed into a nature park and pancake cafe where you can also feed tame, wild eels.

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 the Takaka Hill (on the way to Adrift from Nelson/Christchurch) is Ngarua Caves, offering guided tours hourly from 10am-4pm through summer.  A self-guided visit to the breath-taking Rawhiti Cave 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.  Starting at the summit of the Takaka Hill, it descends almost 1000 vertical metres through native bush.

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

Rameka Track was recently voted Number 83 in New Zealand's nationwide poll "101 Must-dos for Kiwis"

It is possible to mountain bike the Heaphy Track from May 1st until September 30th each year until at least 2013.  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.  Then why not ease those aches in one of our luxury spas!

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 Ford (15min drive from Adrift)