Takaka and Golden Bay
Takaka is the main business, service and shopping centre for Golden Bay and was founded in 1854. A stroll down the main street will reveal the importance of the very active and well recognised arts and crafts community. There is a wide range of shops, as well as a good selection of restaurants and cafés.
Takaka boasts a Community Hospital, Medical Centre and Dental Care that are the envy of many large communities. Perhaps it is not surprising that such a paradise as Golden Bay has no trouble in attracting qualified and competent staff for our community services. This is obvious in the quality of Golden Bay schools. Takaka and its immediate environs are well served by three primary schools and a high school offering a full curriculum range, including transition education and a strong literacy support programme.
Golden Bay is a stretch of fertile river plains and valleys which are separated from the rest of the South Island by a chain of steep and rugged mountains. The Bay is surrounded by national parks, the most obvious being the Abel Tasman, which links you up with the world east of the Bay. Behind Golden Bay are the Arthur, Anatoki and Waingaro Ranges, all of which promise neverending wilderness and challenging walks. To the west there’s the Aorere, which leads to the Heaphy Track (Golden Bay’s only direct access to the South Island’s wild mid-west coast), and the Kahurangi National Park, through which you can walk for days until you are no longer anywhere near Golden Bay.
The population of Golden Bay is approximately 5000, including 2000 residents classified as rural and approximately 500 residents in Takaka. The main township of Takaka has 25 commercial buildings, including 1 supermarket, 2 petrol stations, 1 cinema, 1 information centre, 3 real estate agents, 2 pubs, 1 restaurant and 4 cafes.
There are 4 primary schools and 1 high school in Golden Bay. The Takaka Police Station has 3 full time officers who service the Golden Bay region and there is a central fire service run by a volunteer force. The hospital is located in East Takaka, and there are medical centres located in Takaka and Collingwood townships.
Golden Bay is seen by many as an excellent area to move to for those looking for a good lifestyle. Tourists who regularly spend their holidays in the area often purchase a second home to use as a bach or rental.