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Your guide to Collingwood
All About Collingwood
Located near the northern tip of New Zealand’s South Island, Collingwood contains a wealth of wildlife and natural wonders. Surrounded by lush, towering mountains on one side and turquoise waters on the other, the town sits where the Aorere River opens up to Mohua, or Golden Bay.
Flocks of rare birds circle overhead and rest on the golden sand beaches of Kahurangi National Park, the second-largest national park in the country. Though most of Kahurangi is untamed rainforest, you can safely explore the park via a network of paths. Walk under the palm tree-covered canopy and pass through river valleys along the accessible Heaphy Track. Explore the limestone caverns of the Rawhiti Caves or venture into the remote wildlife preserves of Farewell Spit. Ride on horseback across Wharariki Beach, and listen to the barking symphony of the seal colony in the distance. If you’re looking to get on the water, you can rent a kayak or paddleboard and spend the day admiring the view from the crystal-clear waters of Ruataniwha Inlet. You can search for deposits of the precious metal that gives Golden Bay its color, or learn about the region’s geological marvels and 500-million-year-old fossils at Rockville. After a long day of exploring the natural wonders of Collingwood, head to the town proper, where you can grab some local grub, a pint, and anything you might need for your stay.
The best time to stay in a vacation rental in Collingwood
The climate in Collingwood is relatively stable, with temperate but humid weather year round. Bear in mind that New Zealand is in the Southern Hemisphere, so the seasons are opposite to what North Americans are used to. The summer months of December through February see the warmest temperatures and offer the best beachgoing weather. The most popular months to visit the city are March, June, and July, when the weather is a bit cooler, though it never gets too cold, and there is less wind and rainfall, meaning spending time outdoors is at its most enjoyable. If you’re looking to have a more solitary experience, you’ll want to visit between December and February.
Top things to do in Collingwood
Old Collingwood Cemetery
Learn about the people who once called this small town home at this old burial ground. Though many of the tombstones have been eroded by time and weather, a marker in the cemetery lists the names of every recorded burial, along with some of their stories. Floods, epidemics, and shipwrecks are just a few of the 19th-century stories you can read about while admiring this sacred space.
Te Waikoropupū Springs
These three freshwater springs, 15 miles southeast from Collingwood, are the largest cold-water springs in the Southern Hemisphere. Erupting with more than 3,500 gallons of water per second, the springs feed clear water into the nearby river. A short walk from a parking lot leads to the springs.
A trail famous for its astonishing views and difficult terrain, the Heaphy Track draws in hikers and mountain bikers from all over the world. With some of the best views of Golden Bay, the walking trails pass limestone caves, giant rātā trees, and ancient beech forests. The track’s biking trails are open from May to November, though they are recommended only for experienced cyclists.