Approximately an hour’s drive from Takaka, a short gravel road leads visitors to a car park, from where you take a 20 minute stroll across private, rolling farmland. A short incline at the end takes you to a dramatic landscape, where the actions of wind and wave have combined to produce one of the most superlative coastal landscapes anywhere. Wharariki is characterised by bold cliff lines, high arches, caves, rock bridges, line after line of massive dunes which long ago blew inland to dam streams and form lakes, and surreal islands which are home to fur-seals and seabirds. The wind sweeping the western coast has resulted in quirky, intriguing bushland.
Quiet inspection of the islands and headlands accessible at half-tide may reveal groups of seals, sometimes at play in the large rock-pools.
With the Tasman Sea washing it’s sandy shores, and prevailing winds stirring up the sand dunes it is a place best visited on a fine day with very little wind.
Also signposted from the Wharariki road is Cape Farewell, the northern most point of the South Island. A few minutes easy walk from the car park takes you to an impressive cliff top lookout with expansive sea and coastal views.