The Golden Bay

The Golden Bay

Warning: this post is FULL of photos. It’s simply because the Golden Bay area is so beautiful that I find it impossible to describe. Rather, I prefer to show you how does it look like.

Golden Bay is a stunning place: the whole area is very much paradise like. White sandy beaches, crystal clear water, deep bush, rich population of seals and penguins, and mild climate. Golden Bay was a perfect place to relax, catch some sun and meet the locals. The legendary New Zealanders’ chill out was so obvious here: we went to a local bar and found somebody’s shoes left under the table. The waitress allowed us to take our seats and after an hour we were sitting there an old lady just came to pick them up. She smiled and said: I was sitting here before but switched tables because of the sun and I forgot the shoes. I just felt like at home. I found this short phrase an essence of the New Zealanders’ attitude towards many things and their walking bare feet – which is very popular here – is a good example.


I liked the Golden Bay so much that instead of one day I stayed there four days and I think that’s the best prove of attractiveness of this place. I started my stay here from accommodation at the Ratanui Lodge. This was the best thing that could happen to me in such a place: Steve – the co-owner – is amazing manager and when I told him a list of attractions I would like to plan he organized everything in 5 minutes! I felt like I don’t need to do anything, just relax and enjoy my holiday. So that was really great. So, first thing I did next day after arrival was sea kayaking.

Golden Bay Kayaks

Early morning, before 8:00 a.m. I went to the near Tata Beach. A family run company Golden Bay Kayaks was a provider of one of the most spectacular attractions in New Zealand: sea kayaking. If you have never done this before I think you should try. This activity involves so many pleasant things! Great views, proximity of the exotic flora and fauna, amazing fun when the waves are big, a variety of coast line (even in a relatively short distance), good company and delicious snack at the beach you can’t reach any other way! I embedded a short clip below to share the splendor of this place.

A half day guided tour around the Abel Tasman National Park was excellent way to get closer to the nature and get in touch with the locals. Our guide – Pip – was a young girl, full of enthusiasm and joy. She showed us marvelous places where the birds, seals and penguins have their sanctuary. All participants could simply swim as close as possible to many sites unreachable in any other way. Kayaking is an excellent idea to get closer to the wildlife. Check out how Laurence from Finding the Universe did it.

Our guide

Pip is telling stories about the rocks and birds who are nesting there

We paddled around granite and limestone rocks, enjoying the waves and the sun. After 1h30 min we landed at the sandy beautiful beach to have our lunch there. This was so thrilling!

Lunch at the beach

Lunch at the beach

Just when we finished our lunch the tide was high again so we rush back in really nice waves. Ari – a blogger fellow – had very similar experiences to mine. She went for a full day of kayaking in Abel Tasman too. I am happy to report about her delight! Read her story here.

Granite rocks, Abel Tasman National Park

Granite rocks, Abel Tasman National Park, Golden Bay, Nelson, New Zealand

I think that these guys are doing great job: they provide excellent kayaks, good quality equipment, including dry bags for anything you want to keep with you, and a genuine knowledge of the area. I felt totally safe with them and I could fully enjoy the time spent in the Bay.

The Beach

One of many beaches in Golden Bay area

My delight was shared by the other participants of this tour but who wouldn’t be happy? Kayaking is a perfect way to appreciate this amazing place.

Sea kayaking is fun!

Sea kayaking is fun!

Just the very same day we enjoyed a local nature wonder: The Farewell Spit tour. Click here to read the second part of my adventure in the Golden Bay.

Disclosure: both, the Ratanui Lodge and Golden Bay Kayaks, provided generous discounts through the programme Explore New Zealand.

About the author

I get easily fascinated with people and places. I am passionately curious. I get often seduced with the beauty of nature. Blue sky, pure water, white snow and endless horizon seams to be enough to make me happy.

View all articles by Agata Mleczko