Below you will find answers to our most frequently asked questions. Should anything still be unclear, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Can I start The Bay Walk on any day of the week?
In principle The Bay Walk is set up as a Long Weekend Walk starting on Friday and ending on Monday. Our All-Inclusive Package is only available as a Long Weekend Walk with Friday as the starting day since this allows for group transport and flights between Nelson and Golden Bay as well as inclusive meals. Our Basic Package however offers more flexibility with your starting day.
Do I need to be physically fit?
To ensure an enjoyable walking experience we recommend good general fitness. It is also a good idea to do some longer walks before you come so that your muscles and joints have adapted. All tracks are in good condition but some climbing and descending is necessary, very steep parts being exceptional. The most demanding section of The Bay Walk takes place on Day 2 when soft sand
on the beaches and sand dunes together with the often windy conditions can make things a little more challenging. Please note that each day you will walk for about 4-6 hours. Walking poles will certainly help those with weaker knees or ankles.
Is there any cell phone coverage?
Very good broadband wifi network is available at our Lodge. Cell phone coverage from the Lodge is also very good on all national networks. During the walks there is almost no cell phone coverage and you will only be able to send a text message at a couple of locations. A personal locator beacon is a handy tool, but not essential.
Are there any bad weather alternatives?
Dry weather is essential to fully enjoy the walks. All walks are on safe, well-maintained tracks and accessible even on a rainy day. If we feel it is unsafe to walk or that it will not be enjoyable, we will offer shorter walking options or alternatives like a fishing trip to the salmon farm or an art and taste tour into the colourful town of Takaka. For a reliable local weather forecast,please click here.
Do I need to share accommodation?
There is no need to share bedrooms or bathroom facilities. Each couple or individual will occupy his/her own deluxe Suite with Ensuite and private deck. In the panoramic lounge of our Lodge you will be able to meet the other guests at our briefings, and at the welcome drink on Day 1, the 2-course dinner on Day 3 and the gourmet breakfast on Day 4. In the Lodge gardens there is plenty of space to relax privately or to join other guests in one of our outdoor entertainment areas.
Can I bring my own food/drinks or buy locally to prepare my own meals?
If you are opting for our cheaper Silver Walking Package without catering, you can use our guest kitchenette (2-plate cooktop, barbecue, fridge, freezer and microwave) and the tea and coffee facilities in your Suite to prepare your own meals. FreshChoice supermarket in Takaka (10km) is the best option for general shopping and is open every day. The Pohara General Store (750m) is perfect for smaller needs or fresh supplies of bread, fruit and vegetables.
Can you cater for dietary requirements?
We offer all our meals at the Lodge buffet style allowing you to select your meal according to your preference. On our evening out there will be fish, meat and vegetarian meal options. If you have specific nutritional requirements, you may wish to cook your own meals and our well-equipped guest kitchen is available free of charge.
Are there options to shorten the walks?
A shorter version, and a much shorter version are available on both walking days.
On Day 2 of your hiking experience on Farewell Spit and Wharariki Beach you can reduce the total walking distance to half or even less. If desired the walk can be split into two shorter walks, each one and a half hours long, and the time remaining filled with other activities and attractions.
On Day 3 in the Abel Tasman National Park the walk along the northern part of the Park can be replaced by a shorter fly/cruise/walking experience in another part of the Park. This reduces the walking time to a maximum of three hours with a fantastic scenic flight. Click here for additional information and pricing.
What time should we book our flights to/from Takaka or Nelson?
The ideal arrival time on Day 1 is between 3.00 and 5.00pm. Checkout time on Day 4 is 10.00am, but you are more than welcome to use our facilities until Midday. You may prefer to spend extra time in Takaka or Golden Bay visiting other world famous natural attractions and book a bus or flight later in the afternoon.
Golden Bay Air
During the summer season (14 Oct – 14 Mar) Golden Bay Air flies from Nelson or Wellington and visa versa 4-5 times a week (Wednesdays and Sundays only on special request).
Flight options on your arrival day
Nelson-Takaka: 9.40am (NSN)-10.10am (TAK) or 3.20pm (NSN)-3.50pm (TAK)
Wellington-Takaka: 9.10am (WTN)-10.15am (TAK) or 6.10pm (WTN)-7.15pm (TAK)
Flight options on your departure day
Takaka-Nelson: 8.40am (TAK)-9.10am (NSN) or 2.20pm (TAK)-2.50pm (NSN)
Takaka-Wellington: 4.30pm (TAK) -5.35pm (WTN)
Golden Bay Coachlines
Our local bus company operates on a daily basis between Nelson Airport and Golden Bay. The trip takes about 3 hours.
Nelson Airport-Takaka i-site: 3.15pm (NSN)-6.10pm (TAK)
Pohara-Nelson Airport: 12.45pm (POH)-3.15pm (NSN)
If you have booked a rental car for your transfers between Nelson and Golden Bay, keep in mind that the driving time between the two locations is two hours. If you prefer, we can make this rental car booking for you with no reservation cost and at a special rate. We only use reliable rental companies with a modern and worry-free fleet.
Is there off road parking space?
Each Suite has its own private and safe parking area.
What are the arrival and departure times for the Diamant Walking Package?
We are very flexible in our pick-up times from Nelson Airport and will adapt to your arrival time at the airport. Anything from midday to mid afternoon will work in perfectly with our walking programme. The transfer from Nelson to Golden Bay is approximately two hours.
For your scenic flight from Golden Bay to Nelson on Day 4, the normal check-in time is 2.00pm.
What is the minimum/maximum number of participants for The Bay Walk?
Because of the intimate and exclusive nature of this walking experience, we keep the group size to a maximum of 6 hikers split over our three Suites. Each Suite has a Queen or King Bed and a maximum capacity of 2 guests.
Are there options for non-walkers?
Non-walkers can enjoy all the facilities at our Lodge as well as all the attractions that surround us. Pohara Beach is just a 10 minute downhill walk from our Lodge and offers many flat and short walk options. Non-walkers can enjoy an exciting day on one of our guided tours (4×4 Sandspit Tour, Guided Sea Kayak Tour or Fly/Walk Abel Tasman Experience). At no additional cost, they can also join our driver to the drop-off and pick-up points of our walks and enjoy the wonderful scenery in a more relaxed way.
Do I need to bring extra snacks or drinks?
Snacks are good to have on the walks though your preference may not be available at our Lodge or local store, so it’s worth packing these, the same goes for any special dietary requirements. Filtered drinking water is available at the Lodge as well as from most start and end points of our walks. The honesty bar at our Lodge is filled with a wide selection of local drinks at very reasonable prices, so there’s no need to carry bottles from home or from the supermarket.
Do I need personal transport?
No, not especially. All transfers to and from the walks are included in the packages. We can also organise free pick-up from Takaka Airport (flight) or Takaka i-site (bus). On our Diamant Walking Package all flights and transfers between our Lodge and Nelson Airport are included meaning that you only need to book your flights between your home city and Nelson.
Can I cancel without any cost?
Free cancellation is possible if you cancel at least 30 days in advance. For full details of our cancellation policy, please click here.
Can I bring my dog?
We really love cats and dogs but due to our location and the setup at our Lodge, unfortunately we do not allow domestic animals during your stay.
Is there a minimum age to participate in the walks?
We prefer to accommodate only children over the age of 13 years. Our Lodge and its surroundings are a peaceful haven in Pohara. In addition, on some parts of the walks the terrain is slightly challenging with cliffs and some steeper, uphill sections, as well as possible strong headwinds.
Are there toilets or shelters on the tracks?
On Day 2 there are toilet facilities at the start and end of the walking track.
On Day 3 there are toilet facilities, a shelter and filtered water at the start, halfway and at the end of the walking track.
Can I extend my 4-day walking experience?
Yes, you can. The Bay and our Lodge have so much on offer that you may be tempted to book an extra night at our Lodge to relax or enjoy our other world-famous attractions. To book these extra night(s) check our availability calendar on our website and book the nights and Suite you would like to stay in. Finish off your reservation with your preferred add-on walking package and you
are ready to go!