Takaka Hill Walkway
This is a looped, waymarked route on private land at the top of Takaka Hill with a signed car park off the main road that snakes up the hill and is the only access into Golden Bay.
The route leads through an amazing mixture of karst limestone and marble rock formations, scrub and dense beech forest. Sun bleached tree stumps on the exposed rocky sections add an air of desolation.
Alongside the track there are ‘Tomo’, (the Maori word for sinkhole), deep natural shafts that drop into the extensive cave systems under the hill. They are well marked but stray from the track at your peril!
Near the start of the trail is a collapsed shed with a macabre petrified cow inside curled around a post, perfectly preserved and hollow – unfortunately its head has recently been cut off possibly by trophy hunters?
There are some steep climbs and the going can be slow over the jumble of loose rocks on the more exposed summits. Parts of the woodland trail are slippery too so the 5.4km loop can take longer than expected, allow 2.5 – 3 hours. A short detour leads up to the communication masts on the summit and extensive views over Golden Bay, the coast north of Nelson and the mountain ranges of the Kahurangi National Park. The screenshot below gives an idea of the location.
It was an astonishing walk, the landscape unique and quite challenging
Those tomo must add an edge to the walk!
Yes! They do have a very graphic sign showing someone tumbling down one!