Farewell Spit is a narrow sand spit at the northern end of Golden Bay and runs 35km eastwards from Cape Farewell (the most northerly point on the South Island). It was named by Captain Cook in 1970 as it was the last land seen by his crew as they departed on their homeward voyage.
The spit is now a nature reserve, bird sanctuary and wetland of international importance. No public access is allowed past the first 4km, so we hopped on the eco tour that takes people further along to visit the lighthouse and Fossil Point and the extraordinary ecosystem.
The tour is tide dependant, so departs at different times each day. We had a 6.30am start. Traveling along the sands pit in a 4x4 truck at dawn was a real treat. We were the only people there. Birds, seals and other wildlife dominate the area, many migrating from as far as Alaska. To name but a few, we saw: NZ Fur Seals, Gannetts, Pied & Variable Oyster Catchers,Caspian Terns, Shags and Turnstones. Our driver was really knowledgeable and it was extremely interesting to learn about the topography and the environment and just to have the adventure driving on the sand and climbing up the sand dunes.All in all, a great trip.
CHECK OUT OUR HIGHLIGHTS FROM GOLDEN BAY TO FAREWELL SPIT IN THE VIDEO BELOW!