As you depart Motueka you ascend the limestone Takaka Hills into Golden Bay. There are several lookout points to pull into. Absorb the sweeping views over the Tasman Bay to Nelson and beyond and, from the summit (791 metres) the phenomenal beauty of Golden Bay appears. From Harwood Lookout the narrow winding road indicates the course of the Takaka River running north towards the distant sea, while beyond the valley rise the dramatic Tasman Mountains, home to the country’s most spectacular alpine meadows. Take a break and explore walks at Hawkes lookout. There are short signposted walks at the lookouts.
The Takaka hills with their marbled rocks, limestone cliffs and rocks are fascinating and memorable.
Golden Bay’s villages of Takaka and Collingwood are a heritage buff’s delight. Explore an area rich in Maori history, 19th century whalers and a short lived gold mining fever. Find out about early 19th European settlers and the lives they led in the remote area. Up until the mid-twentieth century access was by sea.
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