Takaka Hill Walkway

Takaka Hill Walkway


5 Rankers Reviews

4 Face-to-Face

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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At the top of Takaka Hill


7 km return | 2 hours 30 minutes return

Limestone county, so the rock formations are pretty out there. Lots of other weird stuff too including mushrooms, gnarled plants and a petrified cow. Not kidding!


Takaka Hill Walkway is signposted to the left at the top of the Takaka Hill, 15km from the start of the ascent on the Riuwaka side. There’s a large parking bay just before the sign marking the Takaka Hill Summit.


The track is well marked and the surface is a mixture of gravel, 4WD tracks and solid foot tracks. Beware of sink holes. These can be covered by vegetation, so keep to the marked track. The track crosses open farmland, scrubland and beech forest.

Follow the 4WD track, making sure to look in the abandoned farm shack (5 minutes from the start on the other side of the fence to the right). Continue along the 4WD, heading right at the junction and head for the TV antenna. These are your best views.

The track become single file from here, undulating through beech forest, before arriving at the road again.


This is limestone country. The rock was formed around 25 million years ago during the Oligocene. Warmer temperatures provided conditions for reefs, which later metamorphosed to highly crystalline limestone and marble. Later erosion from chemicals leached by the vegetation gives the grey rock a wave-like, convoluted form. These landscapes are characteristic of the Takaka Hill, the Arthur Range and Mt Owen. They are known as karst.


This is a mycologists dream in winter. All colours, forms and varieties.


A native land snail, powelliphanta slides over the calcium rich forest floor. These giants of the snail-world are fully protected and it is illegal to remove either the snails, or their shells.

European History

We would have kept schtum about the mummified cow in the farm shed, but a 2018 article by New Zealand’s main news network let the secret out of the bag. Until the article, only locals knew about this macabre sight. It’s not for the squeamish.


Feature Value Info


Umbrella Organisation

Non-profit organisation


South IslandNelson RegionGolden Bay


  • Walking
  • Free


Cindy Rizzo's avatar

Cindy Rizzo


Ranking: 5/10

Short walk. Nice view from the top - the rest of the walk was not so exciting.

Reviewed over 6 years ago

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

Hendrik Schanz's avatar

Hendrik Schanz


Ranking: 3/10

Not as good as expected.

Reviewed about 8 years ago and experienced in January 2014

Martin Buchta's avatar

Martin Buchta

Czech Republic

Ranking: 9/10

Great panoramic views on karst mountains tablelands and Golden bay.

Reviewed over 8 years ago

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Anne Schneider's avatar

Anne Schneider


Ranking: 10/10

Nice view, and close to both national parks.

Reviewed over 8 years ago and experienced in December 2013

Karin & Bastiaan's avatar

Karin & Bastiaan


Ranking: 8/10

Enjoyable, but sometimes steep walks, with amazing views!!!

Reviewed over 10 years ago and experienced in April 2011

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 😍

Cymen Crick's avatar

Cymen Crick

Rankers Owner