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 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.
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.
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. 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.
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.