Other Activities

Able Tasman beach landscape and trampers montage

Whether it’s a rainy day or you’re just feeling a little worked, Golden Bay has much, much more to offer if you’re looking to take a break from the rock.

An hour’s drive in any direction from Hangdog and you’ll find the vast and stunning array of mountains, hills, rivers, lakes and deserted beaches that make up our two neighbouring national parks. People have literally spent lifetime’s exploring this area without running out of adventures. For a general look at the Nelson/ Tasman region, and for lots of great idea’s for trip planning, visit the i-site page.


Tramping 01 (Kahurangi NP)

Tramping (hiking) in the Kahurangi National Park. You can be here in 1.5hrs driving + 5 hrs trudging from Hangdog.

The Nelson region is a mecca for tramping and hiking- with 3 neighbouring National Park’s, there’s plenty of world class scenery to be found, including two of NZ’s famed “Great Walks” (The Heaphy and Abel Tasman tracks). From easy strolls to 10+ day adventures, there is something for everyone. For more information, visit the DOC website.


Although the roads get VERY busy in summer, there are some really lovely bike ride’s when it’s a little quieter. There is a very strong local mountain bike scene in Golden Bay, and Nelson is in the top ranks of NZ’s premier mountain bike destinations. The acclaimed Heaphy Track and Old Ghost Road bikepacking routes are both located nearby. Be sure to check out the Golden Bay Mountain Bike Club and Nelson Mountain Bike Club websites.


Whitewater: The Takaka, Aorere, Anatoki and Waingaro river’s all have quality runs on them, though of course it depends upon flow conditions. The Buller River, NZ’s spiritual home of whitewater, is 2.5 hours drive away. Check out rivers.org.nz for more info.

Kayaking ATNP 02 (Awaroa)

Kayaking the Abel Tasman National Park. Awaroa beach is a day’s paddle away, though there are many other (and closer) beaches to visit.

Sea Kayaking: Golden Bay and the nearby Abel Tasman National Park are a sea kayaker’s paradise. For experienced paddlers or first timer’s, we highly recommend that you try getting out for a paddle while you’re here. Golden Bay Kayaks are the local operators, talk to them about guided tours or renting a boat.


The marble and limestone bedrock that makes up significant sections of the Nelson/ Tasman region is literally riddled with caves. From Harwood’s Hole- one of the deepest vertical shafts in the Southern Hemisphere- to the 10’s of kilometres of explored passages beneath Mt Arthur. It’s serious, world-class high-experience level stuff. If that’s your thing then you should definitely talk to the Nelson Speleological Group… they know a lot more.


There’s lots of beaches and lots of rivers so it’s definitely possible, but buggered if I know anything about it.


Steve Eastwood Photography 7

The High Rocks swimming hole. Two minutes’ walk from Hangdog Camp.. beat that.

Beaches: In GB, it’s often easier to find a beach without anyone on it than it is to find an occupied one. From the golden sands of the world-famous Abel Tasman National Park, to wild wind swept dunes and bush clad hills on the west coast, and everything in between… just take your pick.
Rivers: The “High Rocks” swimming hole is the jewel in the crown of Hangdog’s attributes. Two minutes’ walk from our gate, this famous swimming hole is deep and refreshing, and comes complete with cliff jumps, rope swings, some very challenging over-water bouldering problems, and a large gravel strand for sun-soaking. It can get busy though, however there’s plenty more to choose from elsewhere in the bay, just ask around when you’re here.


The Village Theatre in Takaka is one of the classic examples of “funky community cinema”. Running since 1987, it’s small, charismatic atmosphere is superb on the wet nights, and makes a great alternative to the pub. Website: www.villagetheatre.org.nz

Food & Beverage

What holiday town would be complete without a menagerie of places to eat and drink? Takaka has a veritable circus of them, many running on the organic theme and sourcing local produce and ingredients.

The Mussell Inn is literally world-famous and is nationally revered. A country pub offering award-winning craft brewed beers, large organic and locally sourced meals, a warm, hearty and family-friendly atmosphere, and regular national and international touring music acts. Visit their website musselinn.co.nz.

The Roots Bar in Takaka is always bumping with funky locals, great beverages and food, and live music. A safe bet for a great evening out.


Canaan Downs, 1 hour drive from camp, regularly hosts New Year's parties and summer festivals. As small as Golden Bay is, it has an impressive music scene thrumming away- especially over the summer. Regular folk, rock, world and electronica performances can generally be found during any given week of the summer period, either within Golden Bay or elsewhere in the Tasman Region. There are regular large (for NZ) electronic dance festivals in the summer, along with lots of smaller regular and irregular dance party’s around the region.