Added by Alex Tande
Epic walk through the woods and rock gardens to reach the deepest vertical shaft in New Zealand!
Getting to this hike is a bit of a drive. It is 11km off of HWY 60, just north of Motueka. The road is unsealed, and quite narrow at points. If there is another car coming the other direction, be prepared for a tight squeeze. The road climbs up Tanaka Hill, and the descends down towards Canaan Carpark and the trailhead for Harwood Hole.
The first half of this trail is flat, easy, and fast. Cruising through the forest winding among all the trees, you are treated to the true experience of the forest. Awesome canopy with a great forest floor. It takes you past a couple little lakes that are so still the reflections are perfect.
After about half the track, you start running into some rock gardens. Very easy to follow and you can pick your way through the rocks quite easily. This was my favorite part of the track, it was raining just a little bit as we walked along and the water on the rocks was spectacular.
About just 10 minutes from the hole, there is a side trip heading up towards a lookout, highly recommend the 15 minutes it takes to get to the lookout.
Past the sign takes you up to the hole. This is where you need to use caution. It is a pure rock scramble to get to the edge of the hole. There are no signs. There is no fence. You can get up right next to the hole climbing over the rocks. The best vantage point is straight off the trail towards the hole. The bush does go a little up to the right, but there isn't much a view from up there.
One of the best trails around. Very little effort required to complete this hike, but being surrounded in a forest is one of my favorites. It was so quiet and still, so peaceful. Beautiful track with a cool ending makes it a great spot.
It is just an out and about route, take your time enjoying the space.
- Shoes with good grip
- Jacket in case of rain
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