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“Awesome bush walk”

Harwoods Hole Track
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Always check the website for changes that might affect your trip.
Reviewed 6 January 2017 via mobile

The drive in is well worth it. This is a great walk through beech forest and fantastic rock formations. Our teenage daughters who weren't that interested beforehand absolutely loved it and were pleased we made them do it too!

Thank Ali C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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10 - 14 of 69 reviews

Reviewed 22 October 2016 via mobile

I thoroughly enjoyed the walk in, my first in a beech forrest. Was beautiful and very peaceful.
Very easy walk for 20 - 30 minutes until you hit a rocky area about 15 minutes from the end.
I am not very sure footed so slowed down and was a bit slow over the rocks. Pretty scenery and lots of birdsong.
The hole itself is not very visible as its difficult to access safely to get a view. Enjoyed the last bit of scrambling across rocks to the end. The estimated walk time of 40 - 45 minutes is fairly accurate.
Road in is well graded and just a bit narrow here and there. Drive to the end of the Rd.
The highlight for me was the beech forrest.

Thank Antarisha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 July 2016 via mobile

This is an amazing piece of geography. The walk to Harwood's Hole is through a birch wood forest which on the day we went was so still and quiet it feels like something out of a fantasy novel. The hole itself is huge, almost beyond belief. To get a good view you do have to climb a few rocks, which made it more fun for me.

Thank Shauna B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 June 2016

On top of the Takaka Hill in an area called "Canaan Downs" is the geological feature "Harwood's Hole" the largest sink hole in the Southern Hemisphere.
Firstly you must travel off the main road down Canaan Road for 11km which is a narrow windy farm track and would almost be a 4wd track, but careful driving got us through with ease. There was a bit of ice on the track which was exciting. The track does go through some very picturesque farmland before you reach the carpark.
From here it is a 45 minute walk to Harwood's Hole, an easy almost flat valley walk on a great track through high canopy beech forest. There is very little undergrowth beneath the trees, to enhance this very enchanting walk there are a couple of small lakes/ponds which were frozen over and when you skip stones across the ice it echoes in such an amazing way. We spent quite a while throwing stones across the ice and giggled every single time.
As you get closer to Harwood's Hole the track negotiates through a vast area of unusual "cast" rock formations which makes you feel you're in the movie "Lord of the Rings" the landscape is very spectacular. Suddenly there is "Harwood's Hole" which is a sink hole about 550 feet deep, mostly it is surrounded by shear cliffs but the main viewing access requires carefully climbing over large boulders which on this day were covered in treacherous ice. Getting close to the edge is extremely difficult unless you have a long selfie stick, therefore a view directly down the "hole" is not possible unless you're an experienced "caver" & "absailer" with all the right gear and experience.
Nevertheless it was an outstanding excursion, we included the 30 minute side track up to another viewpoint which looked out towards the top of "Harwood's Hole" and more shear cliffs the down the valley towards Takaka Valley and what I presume is the exit to "Starlight Cave". From the bottom of "Harwood's Hole" there is a cave ("Starlight Cave") which runs for 3km before coming out in daylight.
To enter into "Harwood's Hole" and traverse "Starlight Cave" is not a tourist attraction and currently is the sole domain of caving specialists which in very understandable as it's quite dangerous, but certainly one day I will find a guide who is willing to train me and take me in & out of "Starlight Cave"
Overall this was a great afternoon.

1  Thank Ian G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 7 June 2016

The value of this walk needs to be balanced against the 11km goat track drive to get to it. Until the last ten minutes to either the lookout or the hole itself the track is generally smooth and easy going but not stunningly scenic - fairly ordinary beech forest with occasional limestone outcrops. Last ten minutes is rougher and more scenic. Went to the lookout which takes a bit of last minute scrambling over sharp, rough limestone for a great view over Takaka valley. Didn't quite get to hole but comments received from others on the track suggest there is not a lot to see unless you are a caver.

Thank vivt751
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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