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Protecting our precious places

Nelson - Takaka Hill

Enjoy walking on Takaka Hill, an area noted for its unusual elevated landscape including spectacular marble karst rock formations. In clear weather you will see panoramic views over Tasman Bay, Golden Bay and the mountains of Kahurangi National Park.

Takaka Hill Walkway crosses private land owned by the Harwood family. It was protected with three QEII Open Space Covenants in 1985.

The Harwood family generously allowed the construction of this walkway over their land for the enjoyment of the public. Ongoing maintenance of the track and facilities is undertaken by the QEII National Trust and volunteers.

Takaka Hill Photo: Philip Lissaman

Location

Takaka Hill is located on highway 60 between Tasman and Golden Bays, 15 km north-west of Motueka in the Nelson district. The walkway is signposted from the road.

Information for walkers

Three marked walks take you through karst landscapes, sub alpine shrublands and beech forests. There are many sinkholes in the area so stay on the track.

Short Bush walk

  • Passes through a small remnant of beech forest with a stream. (800m. 30 minutes return).

Takaka Hill Summit walking options

  • Follow the main track to its summit (950m) for spectacular views over Golden Bay, Tasman Bay and the Kahurangi National Park. Return to carpark using the same track. (1hr 30mins)
  • Return to the carpark using the same track, turning off at the 4WD road. Follow the 4WD road back to the carport. (1hr 20mins)
  • Continue on the walkway to the Link Track which connects you to another point on the 4WD road, taking you back to the carport. (1hr 40mins)

Takaka Hill Walkway (full circuit)

  • Climb to the summit and continue on past the Link Track turnoff to walk through karst and beech forest and back to the carpark. (5km. 2hr 30mins).

Download map image

Geology

Takaka Hill’s unusual karst landscape was formed by millions of years of weathering which dissolved marble rock to form distinctive shapes and deep shafts and passages.

Plants

The original vegetation was mostly beech forest, similar to the remaining patches of trees on the land. The shrublands that you see today have spread since the forest was cleared.

A number of unusual lime-loving plants have evolved to suit the unique soil and climate of the area.

Animals

Powelliphanta snailThe rocky formations and covering vegetation are home for many species of native birds and invertebrates, like weta, robins, and the New Zealand giant carnivorous snail Powelliphanta hochstetteri.

Take care – for your safety please!

  • Keep to the track at all times.
  • This country contains many tomos (sinkholes) which can become hidden by grass and shrubs. While most are shallow, some go down hundreds of metres!
  • Carry warm clothing as this is a subalpine area and the weather can change rapidly.
  • The walkway surface can be rough. Wear boots or walking shoes.
  • Take your own drinks. There is no drinking water available on the track.
  • Take all rubbish home with you.
  • Keep away from the radio mast.
  • The nearest public toilets are 5km towards Motueka on the main road at Hawkes Lookout carpark.

Sponsors

Thanks to the individuals, companies and organisations whose generosity has made this walkway possible:

Fields Pond Foundation, Opus International Consultants, Queen Elizabeth II National Trust, Mr C. Sirett, Tasman District Council, NZ Walkways Commission.

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