Look out at Harwoods Hole

Take a 45-minute stroll through stunning beech forest and limestone outcrops to a lookout over a giant sinkhole nestled into the Takaka Valley landscape, recognised as the deepest vertical shaft in New Zealand. There are no barriers at the lookout so please be careful and ensure children are supervised.

From Canaan Carpark, this walking track leads through beech forest with stunning limestone rock formations framing the track.

Once you arrive at the junction in the track, follow the left-hand branch. The track stops near the deepest vertical shaft in New Zealand (176 metres). This enlarged sinkhole drops to an underground river that emerges below and flows into Gorge Creek and then into the Takaka River.

It is very dangerous to approach the edge of the hole. There are no barriers. It is not possible to see down the shaft.

While walking to the sinkhole, include a walk and return along the branch to the right at the junction to Gorge Creek Lookout. This lookout has exceptional views of the Takaka Valley and Gorge Creek. Allow an extra 20 minute to climb and return to the junction from the Gorge Creek lookout. 

Be aware that care is required to reach the lookout. The track traverses sharp limestone rock formations.

Getting There

From State Highway 60, near the top of the Takaka Hill, follow an unsealed 11 km side road to Canaan Carpark where there is a campsite, toilet, water and orientation sign.