Family History, Life at No.22, New Zealand, Road Trips

Follow the Golden Weather to Takaka

Aside from the Bay of Plenty, there is another place where the sunshine hours are plentiful with brown sugar-coloured sand beaches.  This makes this a hotspot for most visitors and locals heading to the Nelson area in Aotearoa. 

If you have a steadfast soul and love walks, you get to discover a region where the beaches are shared with exotic animals more than humans.

Where is Takaka?

For some reason, this place feels so far, far away. In reality, it’s only approximately 100kms drive from Nelson via Motueka, then up and over the Tākaka hill or ‘marble mountain’ hill.  Taking at least an hour due to it’s the windy road.

Takaka Hill.jpg

There are a few places in New Zealand that I would classify as full-on destination rather than a stop on the way to somewhere else, and Takaka is one of those places.

There is one road in, one way out.

The Takaka Hill_edited.jpg

The 791-metre Takaka Hill is the gatekeeper to the area, which, every year, vies with Nelson to head the sunshine hours’ leaderboard.  Though rarely beating the Bay of Plenty for sunshine hours.  Oh, did I mention that we Kiwis aren’t at all competitive regarding bragging rights regarding sunshine rays?

That hill deters the hater of heights alongside sheer drops and sharp corners, not to mention those prone to carsickness, the readily impatient and the apt to be indecisive.

For us, there were rewards for getting over all those issues in the form of pure waters at Te Waikoropupū Springs (formerly Pupu Springs), pristine beaches and family to visit.

Te Waikoropupu Springs, Takaka, Golden Bay_edited.jpg

Then the pinnacle of all delights is the gritty yet gentle spirit that attracts the like-minded.  Artists, creators of craft and the flower children of the past.  Many still have their roots firmly entrenched in this area.  Referred to as hippies or the alternative lifestylers, whatever label you chose to use their spunk gives Golden Bay its soul and that million-miles-away feel.

Planting trees for the next generation  Milthorpe_edited.jpg

Then there is the main reason for our trip over that hill.  My brother and his family have resided there for well over 20 years.  More visits were required when a baby entered the family fold.

Below is a younger version of us at Milnthorpe Beach.  A place where trees were planted by our family for future generations and to remember our very special nephew Noah who only got to live for a few days, though he will forever be in our hearts.

Me and Les

With reflection, the best time trip for us was the first.  That time was by car.  The motorhome trips were fraught with hassles, such as narrow gates and surrounding potholes.  Like when we made a not-so-grand entrance into my brother’s property.  The great news is, after many years, my brother has recently fixed the gate and pothole, and we no longer have our motorhome.

Life really is all about timing.

49 thoughts on “Follow the Golden Weather to Takaka”

  1. Hi Suzanne another gorgeous place in NZ. I was only discussing NZ and it’s beauty with friends last Saturday evening. They have never visited and I’ve been 3 times and I urged them to take a driving holiday. Such a stunning country and not far from Australia. Thanks for sharing at #MLSTL and have a great week. You also mentioned you didn’t receive the email has it gone to the junk file? Let me know and I’ll check my end.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This post had everything Suz, gorgeous photos, a family story, a sad story and I must say I’m a lover of a steadfast soul! Great to read this as I’ve never heard of Takaka before. Sharing for #mlstl

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a beautiful place – probably because it’s difficult to access it has kept some of the wilderness feel and is less trampled and damaged by 4WDs than a lot of other places. I hate seeing the damage done to beaches and dunes by people who choose to drive all over them rather than walk from the carpark.
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Leanne and I am the same regarding 4WDs as most could easily walk instead of driving. Some beaches have ban driving. Depends on where the beach is situated.


    1. It is a picturesque place to visit. Trees are a wonderful way to remember people. That not so grand entrance created our first “dent and scratches” on our beloved motorhome. We can laugh about it now.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hehe, sounds like an adventure. I’ve never been to the Nelson Marlborough area but we’re planning a campervan trip there next autumn. Maybe we’ll make sure to take a small camper. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

            1. I have to catch up with your blog. Way behind on some. Yes, you have done a complete turn around compared to your previous comments on travel 🙂 A bit like those that say I really don’t like motorhoming then years later go and buy one LOL

              Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh believe me Suzanne when I say I was the same or even worse. I disliked the drive over the hill. Then I decided I needed to get over it. Now I can handle heights reasonably well though won’t go near the edge of a sheer cliff or stay on the 10th floor in a hotel. Some things take time.


    1. It’s a challenge for many 😆 Our first hair pin corner we were confronted with a huge truck. The Squire managed to pass as I held my breathe after a smallish scream when looking over the edge as the passenger seat was over that edge with the MH’s wheels firmly planted on the road. I remember that moment like it was yesterday 🙃

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I love your phrase “brown sugar coloured sand beaches.” You remind me Suzanne, how I have not yet sorted through our New Zealand photos from the first part of this year. It will be difficult to narrow down our 1000’s of photos.

    I went back to a map to find Takaka. Thank you for validating my feelings on roads with sheer drops, sharp corners, car sickness. A great deal of the driving for us was not for the faint of heart.

    “The not so grand entrance” makes me raise an eyebrow. A story here. Beautiful photos of the scenery and the family.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I remember a day drive we did from Nelson over there a few years back. In fact, I have a metal kiwi hanging on my wall that I bought that day. We had lunch at Kaiterteri and then stopped at Te Waikoropupu before going onto Takaka. It was a gorgeous place and we had fabulous sunshine…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Donna, I am sure that many kiwis, including myself, do not pronounce it correctly. Takaka is thought to be named after the legend of Tākaka, a slave on the Kurahaupō canoe who turned to stone when he searched for greenstone because such work was tapu [sacred].


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