Discovering the ‘The Grove’‘ was like stepping into a fairytale scene. Every shade of green smothered the landscape. Rocky, limestone outcrops fringed the track and the bush was humming with bird song.
The Grove’ is a scenic reserve hidden away above farmland at Clifton in Golden Bay.
To get there from Takaka – travel along the Abel Tasman Drive towards Pohara. Just before the small beach settlement of Pohara turn right into Clifton Road and meander towards the foothills.
From the carpark a track winds through trees following natural cracks, ravines and outcrops created by water-worn limestone.
It’s a haven for native birds. Fantails (piwakawaka) flutter and dance closeby, the chortles of tui can be heard, while bellbirds prefer being high up in the canopy. Native wood pigeon (keruru) like to feed on the nikau berries and can be heard swooping from branch to branch.
It’s an easy walk among limestone blocks, pillars and gullies, twisting among green nikau palms, surrounded by gnarled old rate trees.
A viewing platform offers a birds eye view of Golden Bay and to get there you walk through a narrow limestone corridor with roots of the Northern Rata trees curling down like octopus tentacles.