Stalactites at Rawhiti Cave, Golden Bay, New Zealand.

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The ultimate in geological eye-candy around these parts are the phytokarst features of Rawhiti Cave, a 15-minute drive from Takaka (reached via Motupipi, turning right into Glenview Rd, then left into Packard Rd and following the signs; the last 800m passes through farmland). The rugged two-hour-return walk is steep in places and can be dangerous in the wet.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Takaka attractions

1. Grove Scenic Reserve

2.63 MILES

Between Pōhara and Takaka (signposted down Clifton Rd), you will find this crazy limestone maze punctuated by gnarled old rata trees and tall pencil-thin…

2. Golden Bay Museum


This small museum's standout exhibits include a diorama depicting Abel Tasman’s 1642 landing, and some dubious human taxidermy. Ask about the albatross,…

3. Anatoki Salmon

5.18 MILES

Here's your chance to catch a salmon and have it smoked for lunch or prepared as super-fresh sashimi. Rods and instructions are provided, but the fish…

4. Te Waikoropupū Springs

5.69 MILES

Around 14,000L of water per second bubble up from underground vents here, making it the largest freshwater spring in the southern hemisphere. It's also…

5. Skinner Point Lookout

8.36 MILES

Beautiful views across Waiharakeke Bay to Awaroa Head, and the long, golden beach of Totaranui can be enjoyed at the Skinner Point lookout.

6. Ngarua Caves

9.42 MILES

Just below the summit of Takaka Hill are the Ngarua Caves, a rock-solid attraction, where you can see myriad subterranean delights including moa bones…

7. Separation Point Lookout

9.91 MILES

The lookout at Separation Point, at the northern end of Abel Tasman National Park, has panoramic views of Golden Bay and the Tasman Sea.

8. Cleopatra’s Pool

9.93 MILES

A short detour off the Abel Tasman Coast Track between Torrent Bay and Anchorage is Cleopatra's Pool, a beautiful natural rock pool and moss-lined slide.