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Pupu Valley Walk

Home  »  South Island Walks  »  Takaka  »  Pupu Valley Walk – Walk detail

To think from 1901 to 1902, men built the races with pick and shovel and boxes of explosive. Just to use the water to sluice the gold away from the rock and dirt.

Quick Facts

        • Location: Top end of the South Island
        • Distance: 2.80 kms
        • Time needed: 2 hours one way
        • Difficulty: Medium
        • Wheelchair Access: No
        • Route: One Way
        • Elevation: 180m
        • Wet Feet: No
        • Toilets: Yes
        • Dogs: No
        • Mobile Coverage: Yes
        • Last Updated: November, 2019
  • Track Highlights


  • Track Quality

    Starts off with a bush track, dirt, stones and tree root. Then onto very flat walking on wooden board walks.

  • Hazards

    Long steep drop off

  • Transport


  • Water


  • Driving Instructions

    30 mins 10.3km. The centre of Takaka drive to Collingwood on Highway (60). When you cross over the Takaka river at (3.6km) take the turn off to the left on to the PUpu Valley Road. At 2.2km you will arrive at a turn off to the left, this is to the Pupu Springs, a place you should visit latter, (we have it listed on our site). Go straight ahead, to the very end of the road and park your car.

  • Shops or Restaurants nearby


  • Area & Track History

    To think from 1901 to 1902, men built the races with pick and shovel and boxes of explosive. Just to use the water to sluice the gold away from the rock and dirt. At 1400 Kilopascals it would have washed away more then gold. Gold mining stopped in 1910. In 1929 golden Bay Electric power board built a small Hydro electric station.

  • Best Things To Do near this walk

  • Map location of Pupu Valley Walk

    Map of walk

Points of interest along the walk

In the map above, if you zoom in on the walk, you’ll see all the following track points and their location. Each point has photos along with a description about each one.

Point 1: Pupu Valley Tramp – Start

There is a brand new shelter at the car park, just for you, in case of rains. The toilet is over to the right of the photo, tucked in the bushes. Walk through the shelter and follow the track. You will come to a turn off to the left.

Point 2: Pupu Valley Tramp

This leads off to the power house. Go and have a look, this is a working power house with a viewing room; There is a push button by the door, push it to turn on the lights inside the building. If you know a little about power stations, you can look across at the switch board and read the gauges. Also look around the yard, there are interesting pieces of equipment lying around.

Point 3: Pupu Valley Tramp

Double back on to the track and over the wooden bridge. You are now back on the main track again. From here the track works its way around to the left and then to climbs up the ridge. The track will be a little slippery if wet, it is made up of clay, tree roots and rocks and in some places the track is very washed out. But in all it is not too bad. When the track starts to level out, you will see what is left of the old race. You are now only a few minutes away from the start of the working race.

Point 4: Pupu Valley Tramp

When you make your way around the shed, and up on to the walk way, you will say wow, but wait when I walk around the corner, you will be stunned. This cannot be real, who in earth would go to all this trouble to build this. The 10th wonder of the world! How about sailing down the wire cable, all the way to the power house. Look above you behind the shed, the bucket for transporting the rubbish back down to the power house is just sitting there.

Point 5: Pupu Valley Tramp

This part of the walk will take your breath away. Take your time to enjoy the views of the valley and to marvel at the effort of those men who built this causeway. In this section, you need to hold on to your kids. It’s a long drop down in to the valley below.

Point 6: Pupu Valley Tramp

The original aqueducts were all built of wood, earth and rocks. Today, if you can’t build it out of concrete and steel, it can’t be built at all. The electronic devices you can see on the bank side of the canal, they measure the flow rate and the height of the water. This helps to reduce the damage to the cannel.

All walks in Takaka…

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Contact info

Pupu Valley Road, Takaka, New Zealand

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