A major lookout over Tasman Bay, the Riuwaka Valley and beyond. The car does most of the hard work on the way up.
Stay on SH60 towards Takaka and 11.3 km after the Kaiterteri turnoff, Hawkes Lookout is signposted on the left. There is a toilet at the parking area.
The track is well marked and the surface is well graded. However, when it is wet, there are places it can be slippery, especially on the boardwalk.
The track leads to a lookout platform with extensive views over Tasman Bay.
The deeply convoluted limestone outcrops lend an other-worldly feel to the walk.
Tasman Bay is a deep scallop at the northern tip of the South Island. In fact the shallow, sandy seabed was once known for it’s scallops. The coastline was once a swampy margin, now drained and converted to pine forestry, farmland and orchards.
Around the nearby Canaan area, Maori believed a taipo (devil) resided. Charles Heaphy, the first European to cross the range in 1844, was asked if he had encountered the taipo. Some think the rumblings of deep underground water systems give rise to the booming presumed to emanate from this mythical creature.
The coloured nets are protective covers, which shelter the apples from hail and late frosts. They are also known to ripen fruit more evenly. The Richmond Ranges in the distance mark the eastern margin of the Nelson region.
A road over the Takaka Hill was first mooted in 1844 when the first party led by George Murray crossed the Pikikiruna Range. By 1857 a bridle track was in use, mainly for goldminers to get to the Collingwood goldfields. By 1878 a track of sorts crossed from Golden Bay to Kairuru, mainly spearheaded by the Bates brothers. By 1900 a completed track allowed passage from Tasman Bay to Golden Bay, but mud and slips were a perpetual problem.
With the discovery of Takaka Marble as a strong, aesthetically pleasing stone that could be polished to a creamy lustre, and Government Building architect John Campbell specifying it for use in 1911, the road was steadily improved. Although most of the 5000 tonnes quarried arrived at the coast via a 10.4 km tramway that descended from Kairuru to Otuwhero. The road is still the only link for Golden Bay to the outside world. And that is how most of the 5000 residents like it.
South Island ▷ Nelson Region ▷ Motueka
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Thanks to all the good people working for the NZ Department of Conservation - for all your hard work - making NZ more beautiful, accessable and healthy! Cheers 😍