The Canaan Downs Land Collective property is located 8km from the Motueka/Takaka road near the top of Takaka Hill (follow the signs to Abel Tasman National Park and Harwoods Hole). This land is owned by a non-profit, non-government land collective and is available for casual camping throughout the year. This land is preserved in perpetuity for future generations to discover nature on this beautiful reserve. Canaan Downs is near the top of Takaka Hill (calling it a hill is an understatement, as it is over 800M high and Canaan Downs is at a height of about 740M) However the land is sometimes hired for festivals, most notably the Luminate Festival, an 8-day festival in January in every odd year.
Toilet facilities and clean drinking water are provided, as well as a magical space to chill out.
The site is 2.5km from well known geological formations, most notably Harwoods Hole, a vertical hole in the ground over 176 meters deep, very spectacular, and only 40 mins walk, as well as the side track to the lookout that overlooks the beautiful Takaka valley.
With the underlying land made up of limestone, marble and quarts many campers are captivated by the energy of the place and come for one night but stay three!
During the summer months the skies are usually clear providing spectacular views of the stars, satellites and meteors. Being at altitude there are regular frosty morning but the day soon opens up to sunny blue skies and definite short/T-shirt weather.
The caretakers on the land are friendly and helpful and a deep source of information on the local tracks. Camping was just $5/night per person. Definitely worth a stop.