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Turn left at the crossroads in Clifton and a couple of minutes’ drive brings you to the Clifton Cemetery and Reserve. Set in peaceful, picturesque surroundings with a backdrop of saltmarsh and estuary shallows, this area was the first European cemetery in Golden Bay, burials being recorded as far back as 1856. European settlement and development of the Bay have taken many twists and turns in the century-and-a-half since then.

Adjacent to the cemetery is the popular golf course (visitors welcome), whose sweeping fairways and landscape of maturing trees and immaculate greens are only a short putt's distance from one of our most well-known beach resorts, Pohara. Turning right at the crossroads in Clifton will bring you to The Grove Scenic Reserve, but do take time to check out the narrow side roads around here. There are arts and crafts, orchards and local produce to be tasted, all amongst some interesting scenery.

The Grove Scenic Reserve

The Grove Scenic Reserve

“The Grove” is characterised by massive rata trees growing out of curiously-shaped limestone outcrops. In early summer the rata is a blaze of red but at any time of the year the short (10 minute) walk from the carpark to the viewpoint is well worth the effort. Just before the lookout the track is confined to a narrow slot between two massive, vertical limestone cliffs. “The Grove” is one of several very special places that make up the newly established Golden Bay Crimson Trail.

Seven sites along Abel Tasman Drive and beyond, from Takaka to Totaranui have been designated as outstanding examples of the ancient and majestic northern rata tree. The trunks and root systems growing over the limestone rocks are incredible at any time but the peak crimson flowering period is around mid-December. Please pick up a brochure and map to guide you along the trail.

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