Takaka & Golden Bay
Rarely visited gem over the hill
Not many international visitors head over the Takaka Hill from Nelson to Golden Bay as this is one-way-in, one-way-out territory - SH60 leads over the hill but you’re going to have to come back out the same way.... eventually.
The road had a daunting reputation in days of old. Broken-down vehicles with steaming radiators are rumoured to have littered the roadside of the steep and seemingly unending climb. These days, even though modern vehicles fly up and over Takaka Hill, the reputation continues on.
It’s a shame more don’t make the effort, because Takaka is another side of New Zealand. Alternative lifestylers and hippies are in abundance.
Bare feet in Takaka’s main street is the norm, as are ‘no shirts’ and dreadlocks. There are super-laidback cafes such as Dangerous Kitchen (dangerously yummy!), and the Dancing Sands Distillery with mouth-watering Chocolate Gin, Wasabi Gin and Sauvignon Blanc Gin among its products.