We had planned to spend the day exploring Golden Bay, an area of coastline just north of the Abel Tasman national park, starting with a drive along the full length of the bay from Takaka to Puponga. We then took a number of short walks along the northern coastline – to Wharariki Beach, Cape Farewell, Pillar Point and the start of Farewell Spit, a narrow piece of wetland stretching out 35km into the Tasman Sea. The whole area offers amazing views in pretty much every direction!
Having reached the most northerly point of the south island, we started our long journey south, stopping briefly in Takaka to stock up on food. After around three hours of driving we reached Murchison and camped overnight in the Maruia Falls car park.