Collingwood spans the earliest years of New Zealand colonialism, covering 160 years of history. The town was named after Admiral Nelson’s replacement, following his death at the Battle of Trafalgar, and was at one time planned from England as the capital of New Zealand. From the Little Slate valley where gold was first discovered, the coalmines at Ferntown and Mangarakau and the flax and hemp industries at Westhaven, the earliest settlers endured untold hardships to wrest a living from the thin soils of Golden Bay.
Today, life is easier. Milking cows dominate numerically over the traditional sheep, tourism flourishes and sealed roads extend to most of the bay. There are many workshops to browse – those of bone and wood carvers, jewellers, potters, and artists – as Golden Bay has historically attracted the talented and even some artisans here.
But, above all the rugged beauty is apparent everywhere.
The route to Patarau along the Westhaven Inlet must rank high amongst New Zealand’s scenic drives, spiced perhaps with a walk to Knuckle Hill to see Farewell Spit in the distance. Wharariki Beach is a legend, the baby seals ever entertaining, the cliff walk to Cape Farewell and Pillar Point Lighthouse just amazing.
The 6 1/2 hour trip to the Spit with Farewell Spit Eco Tours is always popular. There is boating from the ramp, fishing on the river or estuary. After the Heaphy Track, there are numerous day walks to try, or just a place to chill out for a few days…Collingwood is well worth a visit.
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Featured Accommodation Providers
Carters by the sea is situated overlooking sandy Carters Beach, 5 minutes from Westport. Relax and unwind in luxurious modern surroundings and a beautiful garden setting. All 10 studio rooms have free wifi. Carters beach is a great swimming beach close to Tauranga Bay. There is a beach bar/restaurant next door.
Somerset House, Collingwood, Golden Bay base for Heaphy Track Trampers. Transport service to and from Brown Hut available, comfortable BBH accommodation, Free breakfast, BBQ, Zenbu Wi-Fi Hotspot.
Zatori is a brand new multi facility lodge sitting on the edge of Collingwood lnlet with sensational views, numerous room options from luxury B&B to shared facilities. Free wifi throughout both wings, fully liquor licensed with extensive boutique wine & beer menu. Big log fire & really comfortable lounges with massive every changing views.