The beaches of Golden Bay are famed throughout New Zealand for their soft sands and clear calm water. We explored a few of the beaches in the area after visiting Abel Tasman National Park and were most impressed with Tata Beach.
Golden Bay is the gateway to a popular part of the Abel Tasman Coastal Track. You can see some of New Zealand’s best beaches there (Totaranui Beach, Goat Bay, Anapai Bay etc) but it does require a long drive along a rough gravel road. Tata Beach, only a 20 minute drive (along a proper road) from Takaka, is far more accessible. The beach is pretty close in quality to those perfect Abel Tasman beaches — the sand is soft and golden and water invites both swimmers and water sports enthusiasts. It does get a lot busier but that’s the price you pay for being closer to civilization!
Tata Beach from Above
On the way back from Totaranui / Wainui Falls we stopped on the hill above Tata Beach to admire the views. It was a great place to stop but the little roadside car park was incredibly rough, causing me to scrape the bottom of my car. It’s a horrible sound but luckily there wasn’t too much damage.
Getting to Tata Beach
The road to Golden Bay is extremely curvy, so be prepared for that! Once you’re over the hill you’ll soon reach Takaka, and from there it’s another 20 minutes to Tata Beach. All up it’ll take you around two hours to drive there from Nelson. There’s a camping ground at Tata Beach and a few other accommodation options. Definitely book ahead over the Christmas / New Year period as it’s a very popular spot for locals.
Other things to do in Golden Bay
Make sure to check out Te Waikoropupū Springs, which is a short drive from Takaka. Also try and make it to Totaranui and the surrounding beaches — you’ll struggle to find better beaches anywhere in New Zealand. Another good thing to do in Golden Bay is the Farewell Spit tour — we haven’t done it yet but I’ve heard great things about it.
Are you planning a trip to Golden Bay? Let me know in the comments below!
Latest posts by Jon Algie (see all)
- Top 12 Beaches in the South Island, New Zealand - February 9, 2023
- Second Beach, Dunedin - February 2, 2023
- Camp Road Track, Dunedin: Walking from Broad Bay to Larnach Castle - January 27, 2023