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Pupu Valley Water Race Walk

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

To think from 1901 to 1902, 6 men built the races with pick and shovel and boxes of explosive in six months

Quick Facts

        • Location: South Island NZ
        • Distance: 1.80 kms
        • Time needed: 2 Hours
        • Difficulty: Easy
        • Wheelchair Access: No
        • Route: Double back
        • Elevation: 180m
        • Wet Feet: No
        • Toilets: Yes
        • Dogs: No
        • Mobile Coverage: No
        • Last Updated: November, 2019
  • Track Highlights


  • Track Quality

    To start off the track was a little rough, when you reach the raceway the walking was very good

  • Hazards


  • Transport


  • Water

    the water in the raceway was all right.
    The Toilet was in the carpark

  • Driving Instructions

    30 Min 10.3 Ks
    the center of Takaka drive to Collingwood on Highway 60 When you cross over the Takaka river at 3.6 Km take the turn off to the left on to the PUPU valley Road.
    At 2.2 Km 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

  • Shops or Restaurants nearby

    Takaka 10km

  • Area & Track History

    To think from 1901 to 1902, 6 men built the races with pick and shovel and boxes of explosive in six months 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 used the water race to built a small Hydro electric station and it is still working to day

  • Best Things To Do near this walk

  • Map location of Pupu Valley Water Race 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 Vally Power House

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.
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 station, 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 2: Pupu Water Race

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 it’s way around to the left and then 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.
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 3: The Water Intake

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 to build this causeway.
In this section of the walk you need to hold on to your kids. It’s a long drop down in to the valley below
The originals aqueducts were all built of wood, earth and rocks. Today, if you cannot be build it out of concrete and steel, It can’t be built at all. The electronic devices you can see on the bank of the canal, They measure the flow rate and the height of the water. This helps to reduce the damage to the raceway.

All walks in Takaka…

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Contact info

Pupu Valley Road, Takaka, New Zealand

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