How to Plan a Luxury Getaway to Takaka and Golden Bay
Some might say that the remoteness and tranquillity of Golden Bay is the main luxury of this corner of the South Island, but that’s just the beginning. Home to one of the most protected areas of New Zealand and unique ecosystem, Farewell Spit, as well as the uncrowded side of the Abel Tasman National Park, Golden Bay offers many exclusive experiences. Takaka is the main town of the area, home to bohemians and creatives with gorgeous art galleries and luxury accommodations in the surrounding area. Choose yours, as well as premium tours and dining experiences, in this luxury guide to Takaka and Golden Bay.
Luxury Activities in Takaka and Golden Bay
- Take a scenic flight over Golden Bay and Abel Tasman
- Indulge in a spa day
- Be treated to fine New Zealand cuisine
- Ride across one of the world’s most beautiful beaches on horseback
- Kayak in the uncrowded waters of the northern Abel Tasman National Park
- Browse the art galleries or take part in a creative workshop
- Take part in a farm tour, eco tour, fishing and more at Westhaven Lodge
- Tour Farewell Spit – one of the most protected places in New Zealand.
For additional details on each experience, dive into the 8 Luxury Activities in Takaka.
Luxury Adventure Activities
Soak in the breathtaking Abel Tasman beaches to the rugged west coast arches in a multitude of exciting ways, whether it’s on a scenic flight, on horseback, kayak or something else.
To see it all from a breathtaking perspective, join Adventure Flights Golden Bay for a scenic flight. From short flights over the immediate Golden Bay area to a flight over the golden beaches of the Abel Tasman National Park, they have something to suit a range of timeframes and budgets. Alternatively, join Golden Bay Air for a more comprehensive scenic flight over the Kahurangi National Park, Wharariki Beach, Cape Farewell, Farewell Spit and the Abel Tasman National Park.
If you prefer to stick to dry land, why not experience the windswept beaches of Wharariki and Puponga and on the dramatic hills of the Old Man Range? Ride beautiful horses to the views of the iconic Archway Islands that give Wharariki Beach the title of one of the world’s most beautiful beaches or see it all from the mountaintops of the Old Man Range with a wide range of terrain to tackle. There are treks with Cape Farewell Treks to suit beginners to seasoned riders.
For those wishing to explore the Abel Tasman National Park, you have most serene parts of the park – much of the time all to yourself – from Golden Bay. Either join a small-group tour or private bespoke tour with Golden Bay Kayaks to paddle to remote inlets and coves, the Tata Islands with New Zealand’s largest shag colonies, and enjoy morning tea or some other local culinary delights prepared for you on a remote golden-sand beach.
For more luxury activities, like tours of Farewell Spit, farm tours and fishing, check out the 8 Luxury Activities in Takaka.
Luxury All-weather Activities
If the weather isn’t playing ball, or simply because you want to anyway, Takaka and Golden Bay hold some enjoyable and blissful all-weather activities, starting with the arts. Golden Bay is a haven for art and creativity. You can simply browse the array of art galleries, such as MONZA Gallery, Earth Sea Gallery, TOTOS Cafe & Gallery, Sculpture705 Art Lollkiki and MAD Cafe & Arts Centre – to name a few. However, if you want to get a more hands-on experience, Art Haven in Collingwood offers a wide range of creative workshops in their light-filled studio. Their experienced and knowledgable artists and tutors are available to help you start out on your creative journey, aid if you’re in a rut with your art, or just help you escape the normal stuff and enable your creativity. They offer regular sessions, weekend workshops and half-day or one-day workshops.
While Golden Bay is a pretty relaxing corner of the South Island, enhance the rejuventation one step further with a spa day. Aroha Health Spa is a fantastic option with an extensive menu of body massages, spa and sauna sessions, holistic treatments, facials and more in a down-to-earth setting. After your treatment, rejuvenate with healthy meals, organic coffee or fresh juices and herbal teas in their Garden Sanctuary Spa exclusive to spa guests. Other spa options are available, such as those available to guests of Westhaven Lodge, while Waitapu Springs spa is a small complex with cedar hot tubs, Scandanavian saunas, indoor pool and a Middle Eastern chill-out room.
Fine Dining in Takaka
Admittedly, Golden Bay favours a more laidback ambience when it comes to eating out, with highlights of the area including the Mussel Inn, The Wholemeal Cafe and The Courthouse Cafe, as featured in The Foodie Guide to Takaka. However, if you’re looking for a more sophisticated environment, perhaps to celebrate a special occasion or perhaps if you prefer to dine in style, one of your best options is dining at Ratanui Lodge and their cocktail lounge. Indulge in contemporary New Zealand cuisine through either their tapas menu or three-course set menu with specialities in local duck, lamb, venison and fish. Vegetarian options are available with prior arrangement.
Alternatively, guests at Westhaven Lodge are treated to a new creative meal each night either in their main dining room at the main table or in a private setting by candlelight. The lodge’s chef focusses on using local organic produce wherever possible complemented by local wines from their extensive wine cellar.
For more restaurant recommendations, see The Foodie Guide to Takaka.