This 250km route is a personal favourite for many reasons – the drive, the destination, the downtime….Golden Bay is the region the other side of Takaka Hill, with a real get away from it all vibe. Quiet beaches, walks, the wonders of nature, all bathed in plenty of sleepy sunshine with nothing remotely urban….bliss.
Starting in Nelson, turn off along the Moutere Highway to enjoy some fine driving roads and the vineyards at Mahana, where we filmed a number of our videos. It’s pretty similar to Route 1) except you skip the southern entrance to the Abel Tasman National Park and aim for the northern one, which is a walk in one only, no water taxis. In between is the not insignificant Takaka Hill but as the local slogan goes, ‘it’s just a hill, get over it‘….and what a fan-bloomin’-tastic road to drive it is too. The view into Takaka Valley you get starting the descent is a real ‘whoa‘ moment, plus there are caves to stop and explore enroute.
From Takaka we recommend driving to Pohara and to the beaches beyond and enjoying the 30 min walk to to Wainui Falls, or there’s the magical Te Waikoropupu Springs nearby. You could go further and onto Collingwood but only organised tour buses can go onto Farewell Spit itself.
Coming back from Motueka, look out for the stone messages in the mud at low tide, and then take the scenic route back via Ruby Bay and Mapua, another favoured film location of ours. We strongly recommend you take the loop in a clockwise direction, as then you can time it to finish in Mapua in the evening, and enjoy hot Fush ‘n Chups, (now you’re talking like a Kiwi), and a glass of pinot gris on the wharf as the sun sets….
The Nelson, Golden Bay and Mapua Loop
Delights that await you...
Click through the gallery below to see just some of the delights that await you en route, many of which were taken on my own adventures, (you can probably spot those ones….)
Of further interest...?
Which car to take...?
What a joy it was to hear the deep throated sound of those carbs when pulling around a bend, and the crackle of the exhaust when shifting down on overrun. Thank you for offering such memories.
Simply a first class experience from a lovely couple. I couldn’t speak highly enough of how impressed and grateful we were.
Fulfilled a long held dream driving an MGB. The whole day was very enjoyable, experienced every bump, great. Beautiful exhaust sound, “Lions Roar”. A wonderful birthday present from my daughter. Great day out, great fun.
A wonderful surprise birthday present from our lovely daughter and son in law. Certainly hasn’t put Patrick off his retirement dream of owning one – added fuel to the fire.
How do you thank someone for giving us the opportunity to take a step back in time?! A time myself & hubby believe were beyond amazing. Thank you x a million (and more!)
We have had a fantastic four days exploring Golden Bay in this beautiful car! A wonderful way to start our honeymoon! My husband has always wanted to drive one & has convinced me to add ‘owning an MGB’ to our list of future goals!
We had an awesome day….. my husband just loved it !!!! And so did I !!!!