Cape Farewell & Wharariki Beach

On Easter weekend, Emmett and I drove up into Golden Bay and to check out the North of the South (Island, that is). With no set plans, we drove around and eventually found ourselves at the absolutely gorgeous Wharariki Beach and nearby Cape Farewell.

cape farewell

If you know me, you know that I'm always a sucker for beaches and from what I'd briefly read before we set out for the day, Wharariki is supposed to be one of the loveliest stretches of coast in all of Golden Bay. And indeed, it was. In fact, Emmett and I later agreed that it's probably one of the most dramatic and beautiful beaches in the whole country.

To get to Wharariki, we went on a twenty minute walk through sun-dappled pastures and manuka woods before the dirt path turned to sand and we found ourselves on top of a large dune overlooking Wharariki.

wharariki beach

After closing our dropped jaws, watching some seal pups frolic in a tidal pool, and just letting the beautiful views soak in we went to Cape Farewell. We had no idea what to expect - the only thing we knew about the Cape was that it's the northernmost point of the South Island. Like Wharariki, it did not disappoint. We were delighted to hike through even more bucolic hillside which ended at a cliffside overlooking a stunning natural arch. Wow. We also walked along the Hilltop Track nearby, walking above massive cove-dotted cliffs and through farmers' flocks of sheep and herds of cattle. (Click pictures for more detail).

After briefly stressing out about a sheep who may have gotten herself stuck on a narrow cliff, we left just as the sun dipped close to the horizon. Then we ended our Farewell excursion at the tiny hilltop beacon of Pillar Point, just as dusk was settling in.

pillar point nz

If Cape Farewell and Wharariki were any indication of how beautiful the natural scenery in Golden Bay can be, then I think it's safe to say that Emmett and I will be exploring more of the area very soon.

New Zealand Hidden Gem: Cape Farewell