What to Do in Takaka, the Hub of Golden Bay
Tucked away in the northern corner of the South Island, Takaka is a town of creativity and natural beauty. Takaka boats a quirky and funky vibe, where it’s easy to meet the locals in the cafes, art galleries and accommodations. It makes the ideal base for exploring some of New Zealand’s most intriguing landscapes like the longest sandspit, the arches of Wharariki Beach, the northern Abel Tasman National Park and the marble mountains of Takaka Hill. Find out what you could be getting up to over Takaka Hill with this list of things to do in Takaka.
1. Visit Wharariki Beach
One of New Zealand’s most stunning beaches is your reward for making it “over the hill” to Golden Bay. Wharariki Beach and its iconic island archways can be accessed via a 20-minute walk over rolling farmland and sand dunes. See more attractions like with our 19 Epic Natural Attractions in Golden Bay.
Location: Whakariki Road, 53km (33 miles) north of Takaka
2. Check Out Te Waikoropupu Springs
Just outside of Takaka is a stunning natural attraction you can’t miss. Te Waikoropupu Springs, more commonly known as “Pupu Springs”, is a natural freshwater spring creating a crystal clear pool. This perfect photo opportunity is accessible from a short loop walk with plenty of interpretation panels to read about the landscape and the significance of the area to the local Maori people.
Location: Pupu Springs Road, 7km (4 miles) west of Takaka
3. Discover Labyrinth Rocks
This natural maze of limestone formations is fun for all ages! Labyrinth Rocks is enough to get anyone’s imagination running with walking tracks wedged between high limestone walls covered in moss. Pick up a map from the start of the maze and look out for all the toys hidden around the area.
Location: Scott Road, 5km (3 miles) east of Takaka
4. Check Out the Local Art Galleries
Takaka is a town brimming with creativity. Find inspiration and pick up some authentic souvenirs at one of the many art galleries and gift shops in town. Check out the MONZA Gallery, Plum Gifts & Gallery, Earth Sea Gallery, TOTOS Gallery… Just to name a few!
Location: All over Takaka
5. Sample Delicious Food
Art is not the only thing Takaka gets creative with, as the town also offers a wide range of eateries where you’re sure to sample something new. Try artisan chocolates at Choco-Loco, craft beers and fresh local seafood at the Mussell Inn or pop into Takaka Infusion for sweet treats and vegetarian wholefood. Learn more about the cafes and restaurants worth discovering in The Foodie Guide to Takaka.
Location: All over Takaka
6. Take a Scenic Flight Over Abel Tasman, Farewell Spit and Kahurangi National Park
See Golden Bay from a breathtaking perspective on a 50-minute flight with Golden Bay Air. Fly over the majestic peaks of the Kahurangi National Park, the arches of Wharariki Beach, the azure waters of the Abel Tasman National Park, and over New Zealand’s longest sandspit. There’s on-flight commentary throughout to help you learn more about the stunning landscapes you’re seeing.
Location: Takaka Airport (accommodation pick-up available)
7. Fish for Salmon at the Anatoki Salmon Farm
Get the full salmon experience at the Anatoki Salmon Farm. After catching your own freshwater Chinook salmon, you’ll have it freshly smoked, wrapped to take-away or prepared sushi-style for you to eat at their picturesque cafe.
Location: 230 McCallum Road, 7km (4 miles) south of Takaka
8. Kayak the Northern Beaches of the Abel Tasman National Park
See a side of the Abel Tasman National Park that not as many people get to see on a kayaking trip along its northern coast. Either join a kayaking tour or freedom hire from the little settlement of Tata Beach. From there, you’ll get to kayak through natural arches, to secluded golden sand beaches and get close to wildlife like shag colonies and New Zealand fur seals.
Location: Tata Beach, 14km (9 miles) northeast of Takaka
9. Walk to Wainui Falls
See a spectacular waterfall on the edge of the Abel Tasman National Park just a short drive away from Takaka. The 1h20mins return track to Wainui Falls starts across farmland before quickly delving in native forest lush with nikau, rata and fern trees.
Location: Wainui Falls Road, 21km (13 miles) east of Takaka
10. Visit the Golden Bay Museum
Wander around the displays about the Maori and European history of Golden Bay at the fantastic Golden Bay Museum. Learn about the first European encounter with the Maori, the whaling history of the area, and some of the spectacular wildlife found in the ecologically-diverse Farewell Spit and the Abel Tasman National Park.
Location: 73 Takaka Valley Highway