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Kaiteriteri Beach has a wealth of accommodations, but you'll have to book months in advance. At Marahau Beach, backpackers and campers should check out the Barn, Harvey Road, Marahau (tel. 03/527-8043; fax 03/527-8440), the closest lodgings to the park, with a shared dorm, double and twin rooms, and motor-home or tent sites from NZ$25 to NZ$75. Marahau Beach Camp, Franklin Street, Marahau (www.abeltasmanmarahaucamp.co.nz; tel./fax 03/527-8176), also has backpacker and camping facilities. There are smarter rooms at the ecofriendly Abel Tasman Ocean View Chalets, 305 Sandy Bay Rd., Marahau (www.accommodationabeltasman.co.nz; tel. 03/527-8232), with rates of NZ$145 to NZ$285 for their one- and two-bedroom chalets. They have a Qualmark Enviro-Silver rating and are members of the Nelson Sustainable Tourism Charter.

My pick for this area is ecofriendly Awaroa Lodge, Abel Tasman National Park (www.awaroalodge.co.nz; tel. 03/528-8758), which has 26 modern rooms priced from NZ$415 to NZ$460. Tucked into the northern end of the park, Awaroa is a feature destination of the Abel Tasman Coastal Track, and has its own restaurant, which serves food grown in their amazing organic garden. It has won a New Zealand Tourism Innovation in Ecotourism award for its sound ecological practices, which include a sophisticated, sustainable waste-management system. There is no road access. You reach the lodge via foot, kayak, water taxi, catamaran, helicopter, or small, fixed-wing aircraft. Another ecofriendly choice is Abel Tasman Lodge, Marahau Beach (www.abeltasmanlodge.co.nz; tel. 03/527-8250), which has 15 chalets for NZ$170 to NZ$270. You get great service, a magical setting, and incredible silence; and it has a Qualmark Enviro-Silver rating.

Around Golden Bay

Sans Souci Inn, 11 Richmond Rd., Pohara Beach (www.sanssouciinn.co.nz; tel./fax 03/525-8663), is an ideal beach stay near Takaka if you're into simplicity and style. The seven-unit grass-roofed inn, run by a young Swiss couple with a strong interest in sustainable tourism, is a divine hideaway with a Japanese feel. Mediterranean floor tiles, low futon-style beds, and scented Lawson cypress ceilings give it a unique character. The San Souci use solar energy and recycle all waste. Six rooms share bathroom facilities. Doubles are NZ$110 to NZ$155 and a restaurant is on-site. If you'd like a big, self-contained holiday home, Villa on the Bay, Beachfront, Pohara Beach (www.villaonthebay.co.nz; tel. 03/525-8465), will be hard to beat. It has five lovely rooms, modern facilities throughout, and it comes with a car -- all for NZ$790 to NZ$850 per night (minimum 2-night stay).

Farther north, Collingwood Homestead, 15 Elizabeth St., Collingwood (www.collingwoodhomestead.co.nz; tel. 03/524-8079), is one of the best homestays in the region. It's hard to find fault with the personalized hospitality and two large bedrooms with modern bathrooms. The rate is NZ$265, which includes a wonderful breakfast. If you'd like to rent a holiday home in this region, contact Golden Bay i-SITE, Willow Street, Takaka (www.nelsonnz.com; tel. 03/525-9136; fax 03/525-9288). They manage over 60 holiday homes and can point you in the direction of a unique stay. But get in early, as New Zealand holidaymakers love this area too.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.