Harwoods Hole

  • Takaka Hill
  • Landmarks & Hotspots

The Harwoods Hole track is located in the Canaan Downs Scenic Reserve, near the top of the Takaka Hill. A 45-minute stroll through stunning beech forest and limestone outcrops will take you to a lookout over a giant sinkhole nestled into the Takaka Valley landscape.

Renowned as the deepest vertical shaft in New Zealand, the hole cannot actually be entered from the track – it is only open to experienced cavers who are familiar with the Starlight Cave guidelines, however the track does offer some pretty spectacular views. As tempting as it is to try and gaze down into the darkness, you won’t be able to. It is very dangerous to approach the edge of the lookout – there are no barriers, and children should be supervised at all times.

How to get there: As you approach the summit of the Takaka Hill, you’ll see a signpost for Harwoods Hole leading down the unsealed Canaan Road. There is a carpark at the end of the road by the entrance to the walking track.

Photo credits: (1-2) Nelson Tasman Air, (3) www.nelsontasman.nz.

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