Discover Golden Bay

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There are many walks throughout Golden Bay that range in difficulty.

There are 30 minute strolls, such as the Grove and Washbourne Scenic Reserves, and the path that meanders along the edge of the inlet from the wharf at Milnthorpe to the beach. Walks that require a little more stamina include the Pupu Hydro Walkway, Wainui Falls and the Rawhiti Cave. There are also longer tramps such as the Kaituna track and the Rameka track. For the more intrepid, various walks lead to Boulder Lake and the Cobb Dam, the historic goldfield and the rugged West Coast through the Kaituna Track from Rockville. All make excellent whole day, day or overnight tramps. The drive to the road head on the West Coast takes over one and a half hours from Takaka and skirts the Marine Reserve of Westhaven or Wanganui Inlet before climbing through native bush reserves past Echo Point to the more windswept coast. An enjoyable overnight walk from the road end at Anatori takes you to the isolated and unmanned Kahurangi Lighthouse.

Kaituna Forks Walkway

There are several places in Golden Bay where miners' tracks built last century are being enthusiastically re-used by today's visitors. Turn off the main road at Kaituna Bridge and follow the signs to the modest carpark near the bush edge. From here a well-graded track takes you first to the old Kaituna gold-workings, where water-races, shafts, stacked stones and the odd piece of rusting iron identify a hundred-year-old rush; then the track carries you further into the hills with splendid views o

Map: Click here

Knuckle Hill Track (3 hours return)

As would be expected when walking to a lookout the 1.5 hours to the top of he hill is a lot of "up", but the view is worth it. 360 degrees that take in all of Whanganui (Westhaven) Inlet and miles of the Kahurangi National Park. You can even see Farewell Spit in the distance. The first and last hour of the walk are shared with the Kaituna Track, the Knuckle Hill walk branches off, and from that point is a steep and rocky trek to the top.

Map: Click here

Labyrinth Rocks

Up to 1-hour, easy walk.
Just 2km from Tākaka township on the way to Pōhara, this natural maze of paths through karst limestone rock formations and native bush is perfect for little kids. They can go on a scavenger hunt of sorts, as there are toys and figurines placed in nooks and crannies along the way for them to find. Pick up a map at the entrance or let yourself get a little lost; you can spend as little or as long as you like in here. Perfect for if you’d like a little stroll.

Map: Click here

Te Waikoropupu Springs

45min loop, easy walk, suitable for prams and wheelchairs.

Just 7km from Tākaka township, you will find one of Golden Bay’s most beautiful taonga (treasures). Te Waikoropupū Springs are New Zealand’s largest freshwater springs and the largest coldwater springs in the Southern Hemisphere. Feast your eyes on the clearest water you’ve ever seen, bubbling out of the earth at 14,000 litres per second, dancing with light to create shimmering turquoise hues.

Map: Click here

Abel Tasman Coastal Track

This popular 3 or 4 day hike wanders along the top of the South Island of New Zealand between blue seas and the green, tree-clad hills.

Abel Tasman Coastal Track is unique among New Zealand's walking tracks in that its 46 km traverse only sea, the bays, cliffs, estuaries and sea hills of Abel Tasman National Park, the entire unroaded coastline between Tasman and Golden Bay.

Clifton Cemetery and Reserve

5 min to cemetery, with option for longer walk back to Pōhara beach.
A peaceful and shady place for a wander and picnic, perfect for small children. This historic cemetery is a site of great significance for Māori and Pakeha, with upwards of 150 people buried in both marked and unmarked graves, in amongst the trees. Located at the western end of a low-lying sandspit across the Motupipi Estuary, the council reserve is also home to the Tākaka Golf Course, with a walking/cycle trail.

Map: Click here

The Grove Scenic Reserve

20 min to lookout, easy to moderate loop walk.
On your way to Pōhara, turn right onto Clifton Road and follow the signs to the scenic reserve, with a carpark, picnic area and toilet. Step out of time and into a peaceful fairy forest of towering nīkau palms,statuesque northern rātātrees seemingly dripping roots down limestone rocks and water-formed ancient canyons. Follow the path one of two ways to reach a towering outcrop and lookout jutting from the rock face, overlooking farmland and sea.

Map: Click here

Salisbury Falls

Easy 5 min walk.

Drive 30 min inland from Collingwood towards the Heaphy Track, stopping to grab a coffee and cake at the historic Langford Store,then follow the signs to this little gem. Park on the side of the road, cross a fence stile or two, and within minutes you are at the cascading waterfall and its inviting swimming hole. Just down from the falls is the Aorere River, with its deep waters and interesting rock formations forming a stunning gorge

Milnthorpe Scenic Reserve

Easy walk, from 5 min to 3 hours.
Suitable for the whole family plus the dog (kept under control), there are multiple access points to these sprawling trails through regenerating forest, swamps and lagoons, all fringed by a peaceful beach and estuary. Pick up a map from one of the boxes, make a donation if you are able, and consider returning the map for others once you are finished. The tracks are mostly flat with a few rises and tree roots,they are not not suitable for wheelchairs or prams.

Map: Click here

Wainui Falls

30 min, easy to moderate walk to waterfall, 1-hour return trip.
Look for the signposted carpark in Wainui Bay, 20km northeast of Takaka. You will cross a short section of farmland (and one unbridged stream crossing) before entering a forest of nīkau palms, rātā trees and ferns. Winding up the Wainui river in a steady but accessible climb, you will cross a swingbridge over the river just before reaching the waterfall. Keep children close by due to steep drops.

The Cobb Valley

Moderate to expert walks, from 2 hours one way, up to multi-day walks.

The Cobb River and its glacial valley are nestled in the Kahurangi National Park. From the Golden Bay side of the Tākaka Hill, a narrow 28km road leads up to the Cobb Reservoir (4WD recommended in winter, check for any road closures in bad weather). From the reservoir and lookout, you can drive down to the end of the road at Trilobite Hut and nearby campsite. A multitude of walks are on offer from there.

Paines Ford Scenic Reserve and Tramline Track

30 min one-way, easy walk.
Renowned in the rock-climbing world for its impressive limestone crag, this scenic reserve runs from a carpark and picnic area just off SH60 beside the Paines Ford bridge, along the line of an old railway used to transport timber from the valley down to the Waitapu Wharf, between the early 1880s and 1905. You will find stunning swimming holes, picnic areas, and passionate rock climbers.

Washbourn Scenic Reserve Walk

Easy walk, 30 min return.

On the way from Tākaka to Collingwood, just before you stop at the renowned Mussel Inn to slake your thirst, stop to stretch your legs in this peaceful patch of forest. You may be able to spot some of the many species of native orchid in the bush, as well as the traps laid out for predators (look but please don’t touch).

Wharariki Beach, Puponga

Easy to moderate walk, 20 min one way to beach (allow half a day or more)
One hour drive from Tākaka, at the northwest tip of the South Island, Wharariki Beach is now world famous and our worst kept secret. Follow the signposts up and across farmland, through a patch of hardy coastal manuka forest, to reach the top of the dunes.

Farewell Spit and Puponga Farm Park

Walks ranging from easy 5 min to more advanced 5 hours.

You can easily spend a day or three exploring this remarkable area. Choose from shorter walks suitable for children, or day-long trips up over bluffs and farmland. Farewell Spit (Onetahua) is a fascinating landscape shaped by wind and water, with ocean currents carrying sediment up the coast before depositing it to form the 25km-long sandspit.

Parapara Peak

Expert route, 5+ hours one way, 1249m ascent.
Access is via Ward-Holmes Road just past Puramahoi, before Collingwood. This full-day hike is for fit and experienced trampers, with the entire trip taking 8-10 hours. The challenging climb crosses rocky riverbeds,through shady beech and rātā forest and up to alpine scrub and a ridge top. From the summit trig, expansive views of Golden Bay and beyond await. Bring plenty of water and time check at the halfway point, to make sure you have enough time.


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