Tawa Walk

Tawa Walk

Pelorus Scenic Reserve


6 Rankers Reviews

5 Face-to-Face

6 Pelorus

Your Nature Guide

Marios Gavalas's avatar

Marios Gavalas

Author And Researcher

Nau mai, haere mai

Nau mai, haere mai

I'm Marios, delivering the best of Aotearoa's nature walks to your device.

I've personally walked hundreds of New Zealand's tracks and spent months in libraries uncovering interesting information on New Zealand/Aotearoa. And you'll find a slice of that research on this page - enjoy!


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1 km return | 30 minutes return

This loop track is graded for wheelchairs and explores fine podocarp forest around Pelorus Bridge. Detailed interpretation is given, not only on the species encountered, but also the forest ecology and how the systems interplay in the forest web.


Pelorus Bridge is 9km west of Canvastown and 9km south of Rai Valley on SH6. Tawa Path and Waterfalls tracks are accessed from the parking area by the tea rooms. For other tracks it’s safer to park on the far side of SH6 as this is a busy road.

There are two entry points, either from the signpost by the tea rooms or by the sign from Kahikatea Flat camping area, 300 metres down the unsealed road from the tea rooms.


This loop track is graded for wheelchairs.


Some sizeable totara and kahikatea are present, especially prevalent on the bank at the far side of the walk, where their intricate root systems are on display.

Forests in the region are dominated by the podocarps such as totara, rimu, kahikatea, matai and miro. These forest giants pierce the canopy, which is generally formed by large leaved species like kohekohe, pukatea and karaka. Tawa, mahoe, titoki, putaputaweta and kamahi are also common. The sub canopy tends to be full of seedlings and pioneer species such as fuchsia, wineberry and kawakawa. Shady gullies are often lines with a plethora of tree ferns including the ‘Big Mamas’, mamaku. The tree fern’s penchant for moist gullies is especially evident from outside the forest when breaks in the vegetation allow examination of the forest composition. This verdant assemblage is furthermore woven with liana such as supplejack, kiekie and rata. Mosses, liverworts and lichens colonise bare surfaces to complete the picture of green.

Tawa (Beilschmiedia tawa) grows to 25 metres with a smooth, blackish trunk. The light green, narrow, willow-like leaves are complemented by dark purple plum-like fruits, produced in profusion. Maori made bird spears from the timber but for Europeans the lack of durability confined its use to dowelling, handles and furniture.


Feature Value Info


South IslandMarlboroughPelorus


  • Walking
  • Free


Kevin Thom's avatar

Kevin Thom

Ranking: 8/10

Very nice area but it's not where the app shows it on the map. You have to go to Pelorus Bridge about 15km from the spot marked on the map and start from the DOC scenic area there.

Reviewed almost 4 years ago

Marek's avatar


Czech Republic

Ranking: 9/10

Nice walk though a beautiful forest. Waterfalls, sound of the river and peaceful forest. We liked this place, we recommend it!

Reviewed over 4 years ago and experienced in October 2016

Thank You - to the thousands of travellers that have contributed to our Top Voted NZ Activities Map - it's free from Rankers.

Frankie Princide's avatar

Frankie Princide

United States

Ranking: 10/10

Luscious walk to a small waterfall that took about 30 minutes. Pretty mellow hike and a beautiful waterfall.

Reviewed about 5 years ago and experienced in March 2016

Alison Seidl's avatar

Alison Seidl

United States

Ranking: 8/10

Mellow path through a shady forest. Took about 30 minutes. Wanted to go back at night to see glowworms but unfortunately it was raining.

Reviewed about 5 years ago and experienced in March 2016

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Victor Puigserver's avatar

Victor Puigserver


Ranking: 10/10

Big jumps for swimming and water too cool off in but too many people.

Reviewed about 7 years ago and experienced in February 2014

Jesse Flynn's avatar

Jesse Flynn

New Zealand

Ranking: 7/10

Nice easy walk. Nice trees, some signposted, a few small waterfalls.

Reviewed about 7 years ago and experienced in January 2014

DOC Managed

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 😍

Nick Morrison's avatar

Nick Morrison

Rankers owner