Takaka Hill, State Highway 60, to open 24/7 from Saturday, 7 April
The Takaka Hill road into Golden Bay (SH60) will be open all day and all night, barring further closures due to more slips or incidents, from Saturday morning 7 April at 6 am, says the NZ Transport Agency.
"Crews have made good progress in getting this important hill highway into Golden Bay to a state where all drivers will be able to safely use the one-way sections with the aid of manual traffic management (Stop/Go) and/or with traffic lights," says Frank Porter, Transport Agency System Manager.
"However, we need to remind everyone that there are narrow sections and all drivers, riders and road users need to be vigilant through this winter until the road is back to its more usual width."
Since ex-tropical-cyclone Gita lashed Takaka and Riwaka on 20 February, the hill road has been closed and then reopened for managed convoys going in each direction, limited daytime hours with longer hours on Sundays.
"We are aiming to have electronic signs at either side of the hill updating people of any delays or significant issues. There will still be crews actively working leading into winter, however, they will manage traffic on either side of their work sites with manual traffic management. The aim is to maintain the highway in a safe state through the winter, with permanent road reconstruction and repairs to start in the summer of 2018/19.
"Cyclists will be able to bike the hill, but we ask them and all drivers to take special care and be aware that people will need to wait if there is a cyclist ahead of them. It will be a much slower route than it used to be until we get the major repairs underway in the coming summer season."
No stopping between areas of manual traffic management/ or traffic lights
Drivers, motorcycle riders and cyclists will not be able to stop between or within areas of manual traffic management and/or traffic signals. Drivers will also not be able to overtake in these narrow areas for everyone's safety.
Mr Porter says the Transport Agency and crews do not underestimate the inconvenience limited access to Takaka Hill has caused many local people and businesses.
It was great to see so many people visiting Golden Bay for Easter with between 1800 and 2,000 vehicles making the trip safely each day (in both directions), he says. On Good Friday 2,161 vehicles went over and back.
Normal numbers on the hill outside of holidays are much smaller - around 1300 vehicles per day in both directions.
Check latest update:
Check the Facebook and Twitter sites for updates.
How to stay up to date:
0800 482 525 for Takaka Hill access; Email: email@example.com
0800 4 HIGHWAYS
Drivers can also call 0800 44 44 49 for 24/7 updates on road conditions, closures or delays.
You have the option to travel on the morning/evening convoys over the Takaka Hill or plan alternate transport in and out of Golden Bay by air (light aircraft or helicopter), or sea (barge and water taxi) and connecting bus to or from Totaranui and Kaiteriteri/Marahau. Those with hire vehicles can leave their vehicles securely at the Rec Centre in Takaka once you have notified your car hire provider. Read on for more details.
By Air: Takaka Airport - Nelson, Motueka, Wellington and beyond
Golden Bay Air (Light aircraft from Takaka Airport to and from Nelson /Wellington/Karamea)
Free phone: 0800 588 885
Tel. 03 525 8725
Adventure Flights Golden Bay (Charter flights - light aircraft)
Free phone: 0800 150 338
Tel. 03 525 6167
Nelson Tasman Air (charter flights - light aircraft and helicopters)
Tel. 0508 223 5247
Nelson Tasman Helicopters (charter helicopters)
Tel. 03 528 8075
Free phone: 0800 424 677
By Barge: Tarakohe Port, Pohara - Kaiteriteri
There is currently a single barge operating from Tarakohe Port near Pohara to Kaiteriteri.
The barge can take up to 4 cars or 2 campervans at a time, no passengers. It takes up to 5 hours to get from Totaranui to Kaiteriteri by barge. Weather depending, the maximum number of journeys that the barge can make per day is 2. Passengers must take the bus and water taxi to meet their vehicle at Kaiteriteri.
Barge cost is $600 per vehicle, no passengers allowed on barge.
Shuttle cost from Pohara to Totaranui is $20 per person
Water Taxi cost Totaranui - Kaiteriteri is $49 per person (includes 1 bag) + $15 per extra bag
Visit the Golden Bay Visitor Centre at 16 Willow St, Takaka to list your vehicle, or call 03 525 9136. DO NOT go to the port without confirmation from the Visitor Centre.
By Bus & Water Taxi: Takaka - Totaranui - Marahau/Kaiteriteri - Nelson
Golden Bay Coachlines can transport passengers and luggage from the Golden Bay Visitor Centre at 16 Willow St, Takaka to Totaranui in the Abel Tasman where they will be able to then take one of the water taxi companies to Kaiteriteri or Marehau. From there passengers can take a bus to Nelson.
1.Bus - Takaka/Tarakohe Port - Totaranui ($24 pp from Takaka, or $20 from Pohara)
Check for available times. GB Coachlines also has a bus operating from Kaiteriteri to Nelson, $25 cash only. Call for information and booking.
Golden Bay Coachlines (GB Visitor Centre - Totaranui)
Tel: 03 525 8352
2.Water Taxi: Totaranui - Marahau/Kaiteriteri ($49 pp + $15 per extra bag)
Abel Tasman Sea Shuttles
Freephone: 0800 732 748
Tel. 03 527 8688
Wilsons Abel Tasman
Freephone: 0800 223 582
Tel. 03 528 2027
Marahau Water Taxis
Freephone 0800 808018
Tel. 03 527 8176
Abel Tasman Aquataxi
Freephone: 0800 278 282
Tel. 03 527 8083
3.Bus:- Kaiteriteri/Marahau - Nelson ($21-$25 pp)
Scenic Abel Tasman (Kaiteriteri/Marahau - Nelson)
Tel: 03 548 0285
Marahau to Nelson - Departs 12:30 and 4:10 P.M.
Kaiteriteri - Nelson - Departs 1:00 and 4:30 P.M.
Golden Bay Coachlines (Kaiteriteri - Nelson)
Unofficial service due to Riwaka bus unable to return to Takaka, now taking passengers to Nelson. $25 cash pp