Collingwood perched at the mouth of the Aorere River is a gem. Historical fans delight with two museums and plenty to do and see. It is a two hour drive over the Takaka limestone hills from Nelson with many visitors using Collingwood as a way station on their way to Heaphy Track, Kahurangi National Park and day tours to Farewell Spit. Don’t just drive through, stop and wander a town where locals know everyone by their first name.
HERITAGE FANS SHOULD NOT MISS A DAY IN COLLINGWOOD
WHAT TO DO HIGHLIGHTS
- Heritage trail including St Cuthbert’s Church (1873), Courthouse (1901), Post Office (1906). Follow heritage plaques along Tasman Street.
- Explore the nearby Aorere district and its gold mining story of boom and bust
- Golden Bay Machinery & Settlers Museum, The collection includes farm machinery including tractors, vehicles and early settlers items. A number of working pieces of steam machinery are also on display
- Visit the two museums, Collingwood Historical Museum and Aorere Museum, conveniently next to each other
- Nearby Langford Store in Aorere, visit a heritage grocery store now a repository of all things good and all things artistic.
- Visit Golden Bay’s well known music venue and famous for its mussels, the Mussel Inn
The cemetery tells stories of mining deaths of young men, deaths of children from now banished diseases and drowning. Life was not easy in the nineteenth century. The Collingwood Museum is packed with local memorabilia and for genealogists documents and records, including school books. Aorere Centre pays tribute to the pioneer photographer Fred Tyree who captured images of the town in the early twentieth century.
The Langford Store is nestled in the heart of the Aorere valley, 15 minutes inland from Collingwood on the way to the Heaphy track. This general store and post office has been providing essentials to the Bainham community and travellers since 1928. The art gallery is a gem and worth the trip by itself. Perhaps the best coffee in Nelson is here, at the start of the Heaphy Track.
WHERE TO TAKE THE BEST SELFIE
- Against the backdrop of a heritage building
- Historic cemetery with its Victorian graves and ornate fencing
- Wharariki-beach and split apple rock
- Atmospheric cemeteries are great places to introduce kids to the past
- Pizza in The Courthouse Cafe where justice was once served
- Vist the Langford store narrating the story that it’s very, very old
- Collingwood Summer Food Festival complete with wife carrying competition
- Collingwood is home to the only company with a concession to provide tours to Farewell Spit. Farewell Spit Eco Tours. Farewell Spit Eco Tours has transverse the sandbar for more than 70 years. It began as a postal service for the lighthouse keeper. When people asked to hop on board; the ride evolved into a tourism venture deeply bedded in the local community
WHO TURNED UP AND NAMED COLLINGWOOD?
- The name reflects Admiral Cuthbert Collingwood, Lord Nelson’s second in command at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.
WHAT MAKES THE PLACE TICK?
- Worth an overnight stay
Unique journeys, personal adventures.