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Discover The Sleepy Town Of Takaka During Your Stay In Nelson

Discover The Sleepy Town Of Takaka During Your Stay In Nelson

A trip to the Nelson region of New Zealand offers a wide array of familiar highlights. However, it also hides some lesser known gems, tucked away from the regular tourist routes, just waiting to be discovered. One such gem is sleepy Takaka – a small town big on community and culture that offers something for everyone, no matter what your interests. Located at the southeastern end of Golden Bay, on the lower reaches of the Takaka River, it is the perfect place to escape and relax during your next stay in Nelson.

Takaka was founded in 1854, and now supports a permanent population of over 1000 people. The township serves as the main business, service and shopping centre for the stunning Golden Bay region. Initially developed to support mining activities in Golden Bay, Takaka is now a centre for the agricultural community.

The community is central to life in Takaka, and Commercial Street, formerly the site of the railway line linking East Takaka with the wharf at Waitapu, now forms the vibrant hub. Community facilities in close proximity are on a level that would be expected from a much larger town and even include the ‘Village Theatre’ – a fully operational movie theatre. Local shopkeepers and tradespeople maintain this thriving main street, all offering something unique to ensure that visitors can find all their needs and supplies right in the town.

Events in Takaka run all year round, so there is never a dull time to visit. In January, the memorable A&P show is hosted at Recreational Park. The annual Mardi Gras festival is also usually held in January. The influence of the expanding array of horticultural products, especially organics, and homemade products is evident at the ‘Totally Local Market Day’ held over Easter. Year round, a busy cultural and sporting life thrives with live theatre at the Golden Bay Playhouse, the Citizens Band and Orchestra, arts and crafts organisations, rugby grounds, tennis courts, churches, and various clubs and societies.

With increasing attention from domestic and international visitors alike, Takaka now offers a complete range of accommodation options, restaurants and caf├ęs to cater to the needs of all visitors. Social services also include a community hospital, medical centre, dental care and schools that are the envy of larger towns.

For those more inclined to outdoor activities, Golden Bay receives the highest annual sunshine hours in New Zealand. The weathered marble of Takaka Hill, rising to 791m, offers a stunning natural karst setting. Among the limestone caves of Takaka Hill, Ngarua Cave holds significant deposits of moa bones, and is open to the public. The unusual natural features also provided the location for several scenes from the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The Takaka area is also known for rock climbing, with Paynes Ford offering over 200 bolted climbs.

Whether you are after a relaxing break or something more adventurous, Takaka is certainly worth discovering during a stay in Nelson. For information in the town, the Golden Bay I-Site Centre and the Department of Conservation centre will be able to help, or just ask the friendly people around.