Takaka Hill

Takaka Hill is an unforgettable drive in NZ

Takaka Hill is a mountain pass at an elevation of 791m (2,595ft) above the sea level, located at the south eastern end of Golden Bay in the Nelson Tasman region, at the northern end of New Zealand's South Island.

Where is Takaka Hill?

The summit, also known as Pikikirunga Range, is traversed by the asphalted State Highway 60 (aka Takaka Hill Highway), following the valleys of the Takaka River to the northwest and the Riwaka River to the southeast. Takaka Hill separates the coastal communities of Golden Bay from those of the more populous Tasman Bay to the southeast and because of its winding nature isolates Golden Bay from the rest of the South Island. In July 2020, the name of the pass was officially gazetted as Tākaka Hill Saddle.

How long is the Takaka Hill?

The pass is 51.5 km (32 miles) long, running from Tākaka, a small town situated at the southeastern end of Golden Bay to Motueka, a town on the western shore of Tasman Bay. The first road through the summit opened on January 3, 1888.

Is the Takaka Hill open today?

The road is open all day and all night (24/7). Drivers will be able to safely use the one-way sections with the aid of traffic lights. Electronic signs at either side of the hill will update people of any delays or significant issues on the hill.

How many bends does Takaka Hill have?

The zig-zagging highway isn’t scary, but it is a very steep and winding road with 257 corners, some almost 320 degree hairpins. Because of this, new comers to the road sometimes experience travel sickness. The wide road surface is extremely well maintained and has numerous layoffs where slower moving vehicles can allow others to pass. It is a slow road to drive.

How steep is Takaka Hill?

The road features steep sections, and hits a 13% of maximum gradient through some of the ramps

How long does it take to drive over the Takaka Hill?

Plan about 1 hour to complete the drive without any stop. However, due its beauty the drive will take much longer. Take time to stop along the way and look at the spectacular views over Tasman Bay to Nelson and beyond. Breaks in your journey can be made at the top of the hill to enjoy the views. The area is noted for its unusual elevated landscape including spectacular marble karst rock formations. In clear weather you will see panoramic views over Tasman Bay, Golden Bay and the mountains of Kahurangi National Park.