I absolutely loved this little adventure up Takaka Hill (New Zealand). We woke up early, filled our bellies, and set off. In the middle of winter, you can imagine how crisp and chilly the morning air was, but it was magical.
We took a relaxed drive through Richmond, Motueka and Riwaka, and at the bottom of Takaka Hill we stopped to take a look at the river. The frost covered ground was absolutely stunning!
There’s something about a chilly winters morning that can invigorate and awaken you, well it does for me. The fresh air is somewhat energizing, and this energy fueled my excitement for the rest of the trip.
The grass and plants were covered in the most beautiful frost! Really so beautiful to capture! Mother nature never ceases to amaze me with her brilliance.
After taking a few snaps at the bottom of the hill, we ventured up the incredibly windy road to the Hawkes Lookout point at the top. The view was somewhat spectacular! The valley below was blanketed in a shadow from the background mountains, which kind of enhanced the frosted areas and really gave that sense of winter. Picturesque!
We then head out further up the hill, and popped in to the Ngarua Caves entrance, but decided to carry on and explore the caves another day. We then stopped off for a coffee at The Woolshed at the top of Takaka Hill. This cafe was amazing! I loved every bit of it. Such interesting little artifacts and wool products. It was also so warm and inviting with the coal fire. I stayed close to that for the majority of the time. There were also a few animal round back which was great for my ‘big kid’. Nick made many friends! Too cute!!!
We then head further down that road from The Woolshed, which lead us to a sort of camping ground. It looked amazing with it’s own pizza oven in the centre. It looked like it could have been used for ceremonies and maybe weddings. Really beauitful! I got some amazing pics of the frost on the grass and the oddly shaped wooden tree trunks.
Further along, we arrived at the entrance to the Takaka Hill Track that leads to Harwoods Hole, which is the deepest vertical shaft in New Zealand. The forrest leading up to the hole (which is massive), is the location where they filmed the ‘Chetwood Forrest’ in Lord of the Rings. This forest was absolutely beautiful, and looking back I can kick myself for not taking our big camera with us on the walk. It was so magical and whimsical. The complete silence in the depths of it was almost deafening, but shit I loved every minute of walking through it. It was, however, freezing and my nose ran constantly and eyes watered profusely (lol), but it was totally worth it.
The ponds along the path were completely frozen, so you can imagine how cold it was. It was an absolute sight though to see the frozen ponds. So magical! I felt like a fairy in a winter wonderland. The moss covered rocks and tree trunks along the walk ways just made my heart so happy! I love moss! I’m such a nature freak!!! I did manage to get a few pics with my phone, but they don’t do justice to how amazing that forest really was.
The path forked and you could head up to the spectacular view of the valley. The climb over the frost covered, extremely slippery rocks, was a tad hair raising, but so worth it in the end. The view was incredible and I felt so insignificant in size to my surroundings. Back down and further along the path, came the immense Harwoods Hole. Wow!!! Such a big open shaft that you couldn’t really see the bottom. We had to lean against massive rocks to try get a glimpse, but alas. The icicles down the shadowed side of the hole were quite surreal!
We then headed over Takak Hill to the little hippie town of Takaka, which was so cute! I have the best vegan pizza ever at The Dangerous Kitchen. So delicious!
It really was such an awesome adventure, and the scenery truly magical. Really am so so blessed!!!
Cannot wait to go back!!!