Things to do in Takaka
Check out our list of the top ten things to do in Takaka. You’ll find everything from scenic flights to a bird sanctuary with gorgeous views of the bay. You can get drinks at the nearby distillery or eat like a local at some of Takaka’s delicious gourmet restaurants. No matter what you’re looking for, Takaka has the attractions for you.
Walk the Rawhiti Cave Track
The Rawhiti Cave Track is a series of trails nestled in the Nelson/Tasman area of Takaka. You’ll cross the beautiful Dry River and take a one-hour hike to the famous Rawhiti Cave. Keep in mind that about 30 minutes of this hike is uphill, so bring your hiking shoes.
Rawhiti Cave has beautiful stalactites made of calcium stone, which grow in abundance in the cave, thanks to the beautiful nocturnal fauna available to view inside. This hike is perfect for nature enthusiasts and families that like to get outside.
Check Out the Dancing Sands Distillery
Dancing Sands is a must-see for any tourist visiting the Takaka area. They are currently New Zealand’s most awarded distillery and are owned by an American and a Brit who moved to New Zealand together to start their dream of owning a distillery.
They named the distillery after the gorgeous clear waters of the Waikoropupu Springs, which are some of the most transparent and magnificent springs in the world. Their drinks are handcrafted and made to excellence.
Take an Adventure Flight With Golden Bay Air
For the adventurers who want to see the beauty of Tajaka from the air, you’ll want to try out Golden Bay Air. This airline company provides scheduled scenic flights over the bay, bringing you the most authentic views of nature.
On your flight, you’ll see:
- Abel Tasman beaches
- Kahurangi Mountains
- Wharariki sea arches
- Farewell Spit
These flights are super affordable, at only $189 per person, with a minimum of two passengers. Or, you can take a quick 15-minute flight for just $50.
Explore the Farewell Spit Bird Sanctuary
A short 50 km trip north of Takaka, the Farewell Spit is a natural wonder you won’t want to miss. The Farewell Spit is an internationally renowned bird sanctuary being home to 90 different bird species.
Bring your binoculars and take a guided tour through the shifting dunes and breathtaking views. If hiking is not your thing, you can take a 4WD safari or even a scenic flight over the Farewell Spit, as well as nearby Kahurangi National Park and Wharariki Beach.
Walk Te Waikoropupū Springs
Are you looking for a free, family-friendly attraction in Takaka? Look no further than Te Waikoropupū Springs. Te Waikoropupū Springs are referred to by the locals as “Pupu Springs,” and are the largest cold water springs in the southern hemisphere.
Follow one of the loop trails around crystal clear pools of water while you listen to the sounds of native birds. The 45-minute stroller-friendly path features info panels about the Maori legend of the springs. Snap a few pictures before trekking into the forest to admire pools and wildlife.
Visit Local Art Galleries and Shops
Visit some of these locations to support local artists and find souvenirs to bring home. If you want more local craftsmanship, follow the Golden Bay Art Trail along the coast to fully appreciate the local talent. You won’t be disappointed!
Get Lost at Labyrinth Rocks
Those looking for an escape should head to Labyrinth Rocks, only 3 km from Takaka town center. This natural maze of limestone rock is like something out of a fairytale.
Get lost in a world of fantasy while scooting down narrow corridors and leaping across the gentle waterfalls on natural stepping stones. This mossy limestone playground is free to enter, so take your time and enjoy under the watchful eye of toy goblins and witches hidden in the rocks. Just don’t forget the way out!
Trek to Wharariki Beach
One cannot visit Takaka without a stop at Wharariki Beach. Accessible by a 20-minute walk through farm paddocks and coastal forest, your trip is rewarded with some of the most breathtaking views on the Golden Coast.
Famous for its stone archways, Wharariki Beach is best visited at low tide, when one can walk the length of the beach and see its many sand dunes and caverns up close.
Visit Golden Bay Museum
To learn more about Takaka’s rich history, head over to the Golden Bay Museum. Exhibits feature Maori and European history and the history of the local whaling industry, and comprehensive exhibits on native wildlife.
The museum also frequently runs exhibits by local artists and sometimes hosts guided historical tours– be sure to check their website for more information before you visit!
Explore Wainui Falls
A short drive from Takaka town center, Wainui Falls is another must-visit destination in Abel Tasman National Park. Wainui Falls is the largest and most accessible waterfall in the park. It is an ideal trip for families!
The trail takes about 1.5 hours to complete and features jungles of lush native fauna. Kids will love the long swing bridge over the Wainui River, leading to the thunder and majesty of the falls. If you are lucky, you may even see (but not touch) New Zealand’s giant native snail, the Powelliphanta.
Check Out the Best Takaka Restaurants
A long day of exploring can work up an appetite. Lucky, Takaka features many great restaurants and cafes.
One of the most renowned is the Mussel Inn. In addition to its delicious menu of locally sourced cuisine, The Mussel Inn features award-winning craft beer brewed on-site. For dessert, head down to Choco Loco for freshly baked pastries and other sweets.
Are you interested in staying in Takaka for your next vacation? Check out our Takaka Bachare locations and start planning your adventure today!