Golden Bay

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This is about Golden Bay in New Zealand. For other uses, see Golden Bay (disambiguation).

Golden Bay is the name of a bay and a district at the northern end of New Zealand's South Island.

Golden Bay (bay)

Farewell Spit and the long curve of Golden Bay dominate this satellite image (composite Landsat image)
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Farewell Spit and the long curve of Golden Bay dominate this satellite image (composite Landsat image)

Golden Bay lies at the edge of the junction between the Tasman Sea and Cook Strait. It stretches for 45 kilometres from the long sand spit of Farewell Spit in the north to Separation Point in Abel Tasman National Park at its southern extremity. Beyond this point, the larger of the two bays at the top of the South Island, Tasman Bay, begins.

The northern part of the bay is largely devoid of population; the southern part contains the populous but small plains around the mouth of the Takaka River. Between the two lies the small town of Collingwood. Other than the Takaka River, the Aorere River is the main watercourse to reach the sea at Golden Bay.

Golden Bay (district)

The Golden Bay district, at the northwest corner of the South Island, New Zealand, and about 70 kilometres northwest of Nelson, is a coastal area bordered by the ranges of Kahurangi National Park and Abel Tasman National Park. It is largely separated from the rest of the island by steep hill country.; the only road into the area traverses a steep,winding pass between the Riwaka and Takaka River valleys.

The population of approximately 4500 triples over summer with an influx of visitors, who enjoy its natural beauty, recreational opportunities and festival culture. Golden Bay's popularity also stems in part for its remoteness and its internationally significant conservation areas, such as Farewell Spit and Te Waikoropupu Freshwater Springs. It is also noted for its extensive cave systems.

The ranges, rivers, coastal plains and lowlands of Golden Bay provide a range of microclimates offering good conditions for agriculture and horticulture. Currently, the Bay's main income is generated by dairy farming, arts and crafts, and tourism.

Takaka is the main business and shopping area for the Golden Bay district. It is located in the lower reaches of the Takaka River Valley at the southern end of the bay.

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