Recently travelled to New Zealand for Christmas and visited Golden Bay on the South Island. As I am a solo traveller I was looking for a bed and reakfast within walking distance of a town but also with plenty of local attractions worth visiting. The host (Mark) at Shady Rest gives you a fantastic warm welcome, nothing is too much trouble, he showed me all the things worth seeing and made reservations for me, even dropping me off and picking me up from restaurants so that I didnt have to worry about driving! There are beautiful beaches a short drive away, some for lounging some more suitable for an evening ramble…The small town of Takaka is lovely, a mixture of laid back charm, new age positivity and delightful shops and cafe's. The Saturday market is wonderful, small, friendly and full of interersting individuals selling all sorts off hand crafted items and even a retro styled band to serenade you whilst you shop..Mark always enquired as to my evening arrangements and invited me to join him and his team for a barbeque rather than eat out on my own which was so kind. I really enjoyed our late night lively conversations! The place itself is steeped in history and has been beautifully restored by himself, it was so much nicer than staying in a faceless motel or stuffy hotel…I would urge anyone travelling to the South Island to visit The Shady Rest, it is near Abel Tasman National Park so a perfect base for trekking and kyakking adventures and I have never seen such beautiful beaches! Totaranui stands out for me, the sea was so clear I saw a massive crab running along the sand underneath me…a truly wonderful stay in a unique location.