Lodge Services & Activities
Golden Bay has a comprehensive array of great things to do and places to explore.
We have worked with some of the local operators to put together activity packages to make your stay more enjoyable so please let us know what you are interested in doing.
We have several kayaks which we make available for guests to use on the numerous waterways that flow through the property to the sea. Judith can take you on the first stage of this wonderful activity so you can understand the estuaries, river and the sea.
Bush and Nature Walks
Ferntown Lodge has some of New Zealand's finest virgin lowland totara forests. Protected by QEII Covenants; and surrounded by beautiful natives which you are able to meander through.
Whitebaiting (in season)
At the mouth of the Aorere River, Ferntown Lodge is perfectly situated for some of the best whitebaiting around.
Golden Bay has quite the history with the gold mining days and, while the big rushes of the 1800s are long gone, there is still gold to be found and fun to be had. The Aorere area had some of the largest finds in the country. And, in fact, because of this, Collingwood very nearly became the capital of New Zealand.
Beach and River Swimming
Golden Bay is famous for its golden sand and safe swimming and has some of the best rivers around with deep pools and big rocks. In the summer, the Aorere River is wonderful for swimming. Swim in the water right outside the lodge or drive up the valley for some of the popular local swimming holes with their deep pools and big rocks for jumping off - mainly at the Salisbury Bridge.
Farewell Spit Eco Tours
These can be arranged for you with pick up and drop off at our gate. Farewell spit is a world-renowned nature reserve and bird sanctuary. Vehicle access is available only with guided tours and subject to tides. It is possible to walk part way onto the spit without a guide but the rest of the way is protected and not open to the public.
Cape Farewell Horse Treks offers some of New Zealand's best horse trekking with a number of different treks including stunning views of Cape Farewell.
National Parks and Walking Tracks
Golden Bay is at the centre of two of New Zealand's best known national parks. We have two of The Great Walks on our doorstep (the Heaphy Track and the Abel Tasman track).
View a complete list of public tracks and walks on the Department of Conservation (DOC) website.There are many walks of varying degrees including but not limited to
Te Waikoropupū Springs (known as Pupū Springs) is a short 30 minute return track featuring New Zealands largest freshwater springs and the largest cold water springs in the southern hemisphere. They contain some of the clearest water ever measured.
- The Aorere Goldfields Track a 3-hour loop track, which gives you access to explore some of the more accessable gold-mining remnants. This track also gives access for exploration of the Stafford's and Ballroom Caves.
- The Heaphy Track is a well formed and well marked track either starting or ending from/at the Brown Hut in Golden Bay and ending at Kohaihai on the West Coast. A popular option for this track is a 5 day, 4 night trip, staying at multiple huts. We can arrange pick up / drop off most days if this is a requirement.
Artists and Galleries
Spend a day visiting the numerous artists, potteries and galleries that Golden Bay is famous for.
Caving and Rock Climbing
Golden Bay is world-renowned for its caving networks (including the Harwood's Hole and Te Anaroa caves) as well as numerous bolted and unbolted climbs.
Golden Bay has an eclectic mix of cafés such as The Naked Possum, Mussell Inn, Courthouse Café, Tinky's Tavern, Wholemeal Café and many more.