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It’s just a hill, get over it! Takaka Hill, the gateway to your Golden Bay tours, provides an entertaining drive to bring you to a breathtaking view of Takaka River running through the valley below with the Tasman mountains behind, voted 3rd in a poll of NZs best driving roads for road trips! Driving down, you enter into the unspoilt and laid back hidden gem of Golden Bay, brimming with beaches, bays, baches and sheer originality. The drives themselves are pretty fab too – read our TravelBlogue on how you can take one of the great NZ drives to get there. Our favourate distractions:

Takaka Village Theatre – slip into a sofa, bask on a beanbag, even take in a glass of wine of cup of coffee, while enjoying the latest popular and arthouse movies.

Wholemeal Cafe, Takaka – a legend in it’s own lunchtime, (and dinner), with a great atmosphere.

Jacques Cousteau Pirate Expresso Ship, Pohara/Ligar Bay – freetrade coffee topside!

San Souci Inn, Pohara – lovely Mediterranean feel eco friendly accommodation and restaurant, with your own mini villa….no worries!

Labyrinth Rocks Park, Takaka – great place to scare the kids silly, (and possibly yourself), by going there just before dusk….

Te Waikoropupu Springs (or ‘Pupu Springs‘), just north of Takaka – the largest coldwater springs in the southern hemisphere with some of the clearest water ever measured in the world, plus an interesting hydro walkway.

Wainui Falls, Wainui – well worth the 30 minute walk, with cool rock pools and swingbridge along the way, just about the last stop before the sealed road taking you on a twisting Mediterranean like drive runs out…

Choco Loco, Takaka – gorgeous hand crafted chocolates, off the main street facing into the Library Public Car Park, (entrance opposite Dangerous Kitchen). Don’t go there if you’re a) hungry or b) on a tight budget…you just have to have more…..

Waitapu Springs B&B, Takaka – cosy, characterful B&B with abundant continental breakfasts, (including Belgian chocolate!), plus outdoor hot spas & sauna plus indoor chilled swimming pool to help cool off in, all included, (which you can pay a small amount to indulge in even if not a guest).  

Wharariki Beach, Farewell Spitwe’ll make one exception to allow you to very, very slowly and carefully drive for 15 minutes on unsealed roads, then a 20 minute walk for the sake of experiencing this magical place. Windswept, huge dunes, wild waves, expansive rolling sand and not a deckchair in sight….

For more information go to www.goldenbaynz.co.nz

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