Takaka Hill is a mountain pass at an elevation of 791m (2,595ft) above the sea level, located in the northwest of the South Island of New Zealand.
The summit is traversed by the asphalted State Highway 60, following the valleys of the Takaka River to the northwest and the Riwaka River to the southeast. This road is very exciting and sometimes very exposed and unsecured driveway in innumerable twists and turns. 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.
Is Takaka Hill Open?
The zig-zagging highway isn't a scary road, but it is a very steep and winding road. Its many twists, turns and narrows can pose a challenge to even the most experienced drivers. 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. There are numerous bends in the road, some almost 320 degree hairpins. Because of this, new comers to the road sometimes experience travel sickness. 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.
The road does get busier at weekends and in the main holiday season. It reveals superb views over Tasman Bay to Nelson and beyond. 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. The drive is definitely worth it. The surface of the road is asphalted. Open to traffic throughout the year, may be closed for short periods in winter when the weather is bad.