Takaka to Collingwood
Beach settlements are located at the end of every right turn. Onekaka is mid-way and is a favourite with locals and visitors.
The Pupu Hydro Walkway
is one of the Bay’s best half-day walks with bush, history, plant life, rock-hounding and engineering ingenuity to enjoy. It retraces an old gold-mining water race which has been reused for power generation. The walk requires moderate fitness. It begins 9 kilometres from Takaka at the end of Pupu Valley Road.
Along the Road
there are many small beachfront settlements with arts and crafts galleries, and beaches for swimming, fishing or just fossicking.
Tukurua and Parapara
have lifestyle blocks, home businesses, artists, craftsfolk, candlemakers and gardens.
Easy Beach Walks
go from Paton’s Rock to Onekaka and from Milnthorpe to Collingwood.
Milnthorpe Park Scenic Reserve
is a recreational walking track with marked trails through plantings of native and exotic species to the beach. The park is dedicated to the planting of trees, to replenishing a once barren land and to nurturing diversity of wildlife habitat. Maps of the network of walks are located by the carpark on SH60 at Milnthorpe.
“Look left and it’s bush – drive right and it’s beach.”
Te Waikoropupu Springs
The water from Te Waikoropupu Springs is slightly salty because of seawater intrusion. There are three large freshwater springs a few kilometres offshore at depths of 12–14 metres. It is thought that these are part of the limestone water system, and as freshwater flows out, some seawater is drawn into the vents, finding its way to the main vent at Pupu. It is most important to protect the springs from didymo.
People of the Past – Onekaka
The tiny settlement of Onekaka was once a major industrial area. In the 1920s and 1930s local iron ore
was turned into pig-iron and iron pipes at the Onekaka Ironworks and shipped from Onekaka wharf. Between 1922 and 1935, a total of 81,499 tons of iron, valued at nearly £210,000, were produced, with up to 180 men being employed. A hydro-electric dam and plant were built in 1929 to provide power for the pipe-making operation. After the Onekaka works were closed, the plant continued to generate electricity for Golden Bay between 1937 and 1944. Today, there are scant remains of the iron works and wharf, but the hydro scheme has been reconstructed and generates about 900 kilowatts of electricity for up to 450 Golden Bay homes.
This tiny settlement was once a major industrial area. In the 1920′s and 30′s local iron ore was turned into pig- iron and iron pipes at the Onekaka Ironworks. Most of the plant has now been demolished, but the last remaining evidence of this optimistic endeavour is also the easiest to get to: turn down Washbourn Road, drive a short distance to the beach and before you know it you are at the ruins of the Ironworks Wharf. Nearby is a pleasant shady picnic area and a place to launch small boats near high tide in the inlet.
Onekaka is now being rejuvenated. Newer arrivals from the 70s and 80s era have settled in and established themselves as well known jewellers, carvers, and even brewers at the well known “Mussel Inn”.
These piles are all that remains of the wharf built by the Onekaka Iron & Steel Company.
Parapara and Tukurua
A fast developing area of life-style blocks and home businesses, a concentration of artists, crafts-folk, and gardens.
There are accommodation options along this stretch of coast to suit anybody’s requirement.
Parapara Beach is a 10 minute drive southeast of Collingwood. At the peak Christmas-New Year period the beach has between 50 and 100 visitors a day.
Please note that the direct road access to Tukurua Beach is private, although it is only a short walk along the sandy beach from Parapara, where you can park your car.
This is another of those places which doesn’t look anything special from the highway, but a leisurely exploration down a side road reveals unsuspected pleasures. Turn down the road marked “Milnthorpe Quay” and you soon find yourself at the old wharf (hopefully to be repaired) with a fine view of the estuary.
The road continues beyond the wharf for another half kilometre or so, ending in a small picnic area. Behind the low dunes is a large revegetation area, stretching back to the highway, where land once regularly burnt, otherwise mistreated and then abandoned is rapidly returning to various types of forest under the patient eye of its guardian. Maps are available for lovely walks in this area.
Just along the top of the hill at Milnthorpe is a wide panorama of valley (the Aorere) and mountain (the Wakamarama Range). On the left (signposted) is a small picket fence with displays telling the traveller about the discovery, near here, of New Zealand’s first goldfield in 1857.
Rototai, Rangihaeata and Patons Rock
A short scenic loop road from either side of Takaka takes you past the Rototai settlement hidden between the estuaries of the Motupipi and Waitapu rivers. The estuaries, sand spits and beaches provide ideal environments for an interesting variety of birdlife, including caspian terns, pied oystercatchers, spoonbills and the usually solitary, but majestic, white heron.
Rangihaeata is renowned for lifestyle blocks, sweeping sandy beaches and country charm yet only 5 minutes drive from Takaka township.
Patons Rock is about 15 minutes drive north of Takaka and features one of Golden Bay’s most beautiful beaches. A great place for swimming, walking and boating.
This stretch of coastline consists of small beachside settlements with many holiday homes and increasing numbers of B&Bs. Ideal for swimming, fishing or just fossicking. A beach walk from Patons Rock to Onekaka is a favourite.