Golden Bay, Takaka & Rabbit Island

The day after arriving in Nelson, wanting to take full advantage of having a friend in town for a limited time only, Nick and I set out on a road trip with no real destination in mind. We drove on and on; on an ocean road, through forest, up a mountain, through A CLOUD, down the other side of the mountain and then over plains until we saw the sea again. We found ourselves in Patons Rock, a small coastal town in the Golden Bay region, just west of the Abel Tasman National Park.


You may have heard about Golden Bay as earlier this year it was the scene of a tragic and huge whale stranding, though this was across the bay, near to Farewell spit. Luckily, all we found on the beach at Patons Rock were shells.

With the weather looking a little gloomy, we decided to make a U-turn and set off back in the direction we’d come, this time stopping off for an ice cream in Takaka. Though quite pleasant to look at, I don’t know how to describe the vibe of Takaka without being rude. It was a very.. odd place. Nick and I couldn’t quite pin what felt off about it. There were a lot of people sort of just sitting around and watching us, almost sizing us up, and most of the people we saw were exclusively wearing leather.. It was probably a really nice town but, Nick and I managed to convince ourselves that it was the perfect setting for some sort of cult and quickly decided to move on!

Already a little spooked, we then spotted this old, creepy, abandoned house on the outskirts of town!


The weather started to improve as we set off back up Takaka Hill, where we stopped briefly to take in the amazing view.


I may be wrong (I’m not usually) but I think that’s the start of the Abel Tasman National Park over in the distance there.. I’m not too sure, please forgive my lack of knowledge on this occasion. What I do know is that we passed every sort of fruit plantation imaginable on our little road trip, though weirdly, we didn’t stop and stock up.

Anyway, on the way back to Nelson and after passing through Motueka, which seemed like a very pretty little town, we decided to go to Rabbit Island. To get there, you take this amazing, straight road, lined on both sides by these huge, great evergreen trees. BUT, spoiler alert: it’s not an island and there were no rabbits. There was however, a very beautiful beach.


Rabbit Island beach is one of the loveliest places I’ve visited here in New Zealand, I really, really liked it there. It helped, too, that the sun happened to make an early evening appearance and just make everything look a little bit more majestical.



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