My Xmas holiday destination of Paton Rock was once again the place to go in 2019.  Over the past 20 years the opportunity to Holiday with my good friends at “The Look out“ on the beach is always a delightful experience.
The enclave of Paton Rock lies on Eastern shore of Golden Bay and is 11km from Takaka Township.  The area is protected by the shallow waters and huge sand bar that forms Farwell Spit.  It is  26-km length and protects the inner bay from the ravages of the Westcoast Seas.  It is also the northern most tip of the South Island.
Paton Beach is long and flat with a 2-5 metre tidal flow and is enjoyed by people of all ages.  The water is warm - about 18-20 degrees!  Swimming, water-skiing and fishing are favourite pastimes.  This year, the wind and sun were kind to us and we went about our chores and games in wonderful sunny calm weather.
Line-fishing for Snapper and Gurnard provided regular yummy fish meals for our camp.  Some large snapper 10-14 lbs and big Gurnard were caught.  All boats are launched off the sandy beach with a tractor and if the swell comes up there are interesting methods used by boatie’s launching their boats and stay dry - it can be quite entertaining!  Many enjoyable hours are spent maintaining the fishing gear and washing down the equipment and tractor for watersport in the afternoon.  There is always something broken that needs attention and someone in the street will have a solution.
During the day the place is alive with friends and neighbours & children of all ages coming and going often stopping for a cuppa and chat. Sitting on the deck looking across the bay ,the water skiers are lining up for their turn.  The small sailing boats, hobby-cats and optimists are also out in the Bay.  The horse-riding school is also out on the beach trekking with about 8 horses.  In the cool of the morning, many people walk the length of the beach which is an easy 2hr stretch.
There is no shop at Patons Beach and most goodies are sauced from Takaka Township.  The many roadside stalls within a few kilometres of Patons Rock sell an extensive range of fresh vegetables and fruit.  You have to go early to catch the eggs, as they are in high-demand during the holidays.  One of the iconic attractions 15-min down the road towards Collingwood, is the Mussel Inn.  It is famous for fresh mussel meals and craft beers and there is plenty of swings and entertainment for the children.  It is a popular stop for visitors and if you haven’t been there, its worth a visit.
Over the Hill.
The Takaka Hill is the divide between Nelson and Golden Bay and is a 37km drive which is testing for new travellers.  There are walking and cycle tracks new the top of the hill and the views are spectacular.  Golden Bay provides easy access to 3 national Parks: The Able Tasman, Kahurangi and Heaphy track.  These wonderful parks offer a great range of camping spots, hiking and cycling tracks.
Golden Bays main industries are farming, food production and Tourism.  If you haven’t visited yet it time you did.“