The Guide to Takaka on a Budget©
The Guide to Takaka on a Budget

The Travel Guide to Takaka on a Budget

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Article Single Pages©
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How to Visit Takaka on a Budget

Takaka and Golden Bay are a dream for budget travellers. Most of the top things to see here are absolutely free to visit, while the paid activities are reasonably priced. It all goes with the bohemian vibe of the town, found over the scenic Takaka Hill on the northern side of the iconic Abel Tasman National Park. Affordable places to stay, as well as cheap cafes and other dining options, make a stay in Takaka and Golden Bay easy on the wallet.

So plan your visit with this complete travel guide to Takaka on a budget.

Budget Tips for Takaka and Golden Bay

  • Visit in the low season (May to September) to see discounted activities and accommodation rates
  • It’s easier to have your own vehicle to visit the array of attractions, as there is limited public transport in Golden Bay
  • Your itinerary will likely be mostly filled up with the free and cheap activities in Golden Bay
  • Stay in one of the budget accommodations or even hostels – they’re seriously not that bad!
  • Stay in self-catering accommodation to save money on meals – there’s a FreshChoice supermarket in town.

For more general budget tips, check out the 11 Ways to Save Money When Backpacking in New Zealand.

The Guide to Takaka on a Budget©

Free Activities in Golden Bay

Many of Golden Bay’s main attractions are, indeed, free to visit. All you will need is a vehicle and to pay for fuel to get around the attractions, such as Te Waikoropupu Springs located just outside of Takaka. This 45-minute loop walk takes you down through the forest to the Southern Hemisphere’s largest coldwater spring! The crystal clear waters of Te Waikoropupu Springs, also known as Pupu Springs, are a stunning photo stop!

Wharariki Beach is well worth the road trip from Takaka, a stunning stretch of windswept beach with Archway Islands just off the coast. Also in the area is Cape Farewell with another archway stretching into the sea, as well as Farewell Spit – both with walking trails to make the most of them for free. Check out the walks detailed in the 7 Best Walks at Farewell Spit.

While there are more amazing free attractions that we list in the 19 Epic Natural Attractions in Golden Bay, you can’t visit Takaka without experiencing the creativity of this bohemian town. Checking out the art galleries is another fun free thing to do. Visit art galleries like MONZA Gallery, Earth Sea Gallery, TOTOS Cafe & Gallery, Sculpture705 Art Lollkiki, MAD Cafe & Arts Centre and more! Their locations are listed in the 10 Free & Cheap Things to Do in Takaka.

The Guide to Takaka on a Budget© Dancing Sands Distillery

Cheap Activities in Golden Bay

You’ll also find a few affordable things to do in Takaka and Golden Bay that won’t send you too far over budget. For instance, Dancing Sands Distillery is a foodie experience that not only offers free tastings at their cellar door but also very cheap distillery tours. Learn about the distillation process, explore unique botanicals and how they’re used in their gins and enjoy a guided tasting session. Learn more about the tour on Viator and Tripadvisor. Plus, check out more activities like this in the 8 Things to Do in Takaka for Foodies.

On your way in or out of Takaka, check out Ngarua Cave on the top of Takaka Hill. Take their affordable guided tour through the various chambres awash in stalactites and stalagmites, as well as to see remains of the now-extinct giant moa bird. You can also enjoy the vast karst limestone landscape from outside the caves. Tours are around NZ$25 per adult.

For more cheap activities, like the Golden Bay Museum, see the 10 Free & Cheap Things to Do in Takaka.

The Guide to Takaka on a Budget©

Cheap Eats in Golden Bay

Finally, enjoy some of the cheap eats in Takaka and Golden Bay to complete your itinerary with some local flavours. You can always rely on Asian food for an affordable meal, even in Takaka, thanks to The Curry Leaf (5B Commercial Street) serving up chef-made Indian curries and gourmet burgers.

For affordable cafe, cabinet and deli meals, head to De-Lish Delicatessen (30 Commercial Street) for coffee and lunch. Or opt for something healthy and eco-friendly at Goodness 2 Go (Junction Street) offering wraps, sandwiches and salads which can be refilled in mason jars for a discount.

Need a naughty takeaway? Bay Takeaway (44 Commercial Street) has you covered with all kinds of fried food, burgers, fish & chips, wraps and more.

For more restaurant and cafe recommendations, check out The Foodie Guide to Takaka.

More About Takaka and Golden Bay

That’s it from the travel guide to Takaka on a budget. Check out even more money-saving tips in The Travel Guide to New Zealand on a Budget.


The information in this guide has been compiled from our extensive research, travel and experiences across New Zealand and the South Pacific, accumulated over more than a decade of numerous visits to each destination. Additional sources for this guide include the following:

Our editorial standards: At NZ Pocket Guide, we uphold strict editorial standards to ensure accurate and quality content.

About The Author

Laura S.

This article has been reviewed and published by Laura, the editor-in-chief and co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. Laura is a first-class honours journalism graduate and a travel journalist with expertise in New Zealand and South Pacific tourism for over 10 years. She also runs travel guides for five of the top destinations in the South Pacific and is the co-host of over 250 episodes of the NZ Travel Show on YouTube.

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