Riuwaka Resurgence Walkway, or Source of the Riuwaka, is a short walkway to the resurgence of the Riuwaka River from the base of Takaka Hill. The walkway passes through lush native bush alongside the cool, clear waters of the river to the resurgence.
|Length: 800 m return||Time Required: 20 min return|
|Trail Type: Walking track (with disabled access to Crystal Pool, halfway along walkway)||Physical Difficulty: Very Easy|
|Uses: Walking only||Dog Access: Dogs are prohibited in Kahurangi National Park|
|Length: 800 m return|
|Time Required: 20 min return|
|Trail Type: Walking track|
|Physical Difficulty: Very Easy|
|Uses: Walking only|
|Dog Access: Dogs are prohibited in Kahurangi National Park|
The walkway is located at the end of Riwaka Valley Road, 16 km north of Motueka and 50 km from Nelson. Follow State Highway 60 past the Kaiteriteri junction, and turn left onto Riwaka Valley Road at the base of Takaka Hill (you will see the brown signpost). The walkway is located 7 km up the gravel road, where there is a car park, toilet and grassed recreational area that is nice for picnics in summer (though no camping is permitted). Note that the walkway enters Kahurangi National Park, so dogs are not allowed.
The walkway follows the true left of Riuwaka River North Branch river through lush native bush. The first half of the walkway to Crystal Pool has wheelchair access. Shortly afterwards the walkway ends at a viewing platform that overlooks the resurgence. A stairway leads down to the water edge. The steep hillside and bush mean the walkway can be quite shaded and cool in summer. The water flowing from the cave is a frigid 9°C year-round.
The resurgence is known as Te Puna o Riuwaka by local Maori, Te Ātiawa and Ngāti Rārua, and is considered wāhi tapu (sacred). Traditionally Maori would not eat or swim at the site, and the waters were considered to have powerful healing properties. Please be respectful of this when you visit.