Farewell Spit (Pinterest)

Farewell Spit forms the northern side of Golden Bay and is the longest natural sandbar in New Zealand and the 4th longest in the world.  The sweeping sandbar stretches 26km above sea level with another 6km extending underwater. This claw shaped slither of fine golden sand runs eastwards from Cape Farewell which is the South Island’s northernmost point.

As a wetland and sanctuary for migrating wading birds, Farewell Spit is internationally important. More than 90 species live in the various habitats created by the sandbar, including salt marshes, extensive mudflats and relatively sheltered sand dunes. To add to the importance of the area as a nature reserve, a rare sea-level gannet colony is also located there. Godwits are particularly important inhabitants of Farewell Spit, taking just eight days to fly 11,000 kilometres non-stop from Alaska, the longest non-stop flight undertaken by any bird. read more