- Landmarks & Hotspots
Farewell Spit is one of the largest natural sandspits in the world, stretching a whopping 35km and sheltering the Nelson Tasman region from the wild western weather.
The spit has formed as a result of continuous coastal erosion and oceanic drift, and visitors travel from near and far to witness this iconic natural landscape. Recognised as a wetland of international importance, a nature reserve and a bird sanctuary, the spit is more strictly protected than a national park.
Over 90 species of migratory birds including gannets, godwits and arctic waders can be found here each year, whilst playful seal pups and cheeky oystercatchers are drawn to its intriguing reserve.
Towering sand dunes provide hours of entertainment for those of all ages, although venturing further than the first 4km is only possible when on a guided tour. Other attractions along the spit include a gannet colony, wader watch area, lighthouse, Fossil Point and Cape Farewell.
Getting there: Farewell Spit is about 50km north of Takaka, and an overnight stay in Collingwood is the best way to experience the many scenic attractions at the northern end of Golden Bay. The Triangle Flat carpark in Puponga is the place to go if you want to explore the beginning of the spit, although venturing further than the first 4km requires you to book in for a scenic tour.
Photo credits: (1) Adventure Flights Golden Bay, (2-8) www.nelsontasman.nz, (9) Farewell Spit Tours.