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Riuwaka Resurgence, Tasman

Riuwaka Resurgence, Tasman

A short drive from Motueka you’ll find a glistening stretch of river surrounded by mossy rocks and trees. Walk a short distance to the top of the track and you’ll see that river emerge from a small cave opening. This is the Riuwaka Resurgence and it’s a fun (and very easy) place to visit when exploring the Tasman region.

Getting to the Riuwaka Resurgence

Turn down Riuwaka Valley Road, a short distance from Motueka as you drive towards Tākaka. It makes for a great detour off the Nelson — Golden Bay route or as a trip from Nelson, Motueka or Kaiteriteri. The road passes by apple orchards — you’ll see the area spread out below you from Hawkes Lookout on Tākaka Hill.

Riuwaka Resurgence

The Riuwaka Resurgence sits at the end of a lush forest track. It follows a section of river full of rapids and mossy rocks with trees providing the framing. There are a couple of tracks leading down to the river — the spot pictured below is a good one to seek out.

You’ll soon come to a pool with incredibly clear water. It could be tempting to swim, but it’s a sacred place for Māori so you’ll have to be content with seeing it from dry land. There’s a waterfall there — you can see by walking along the narrow track by the river.

The main track then leads a little further uphill to the cave opening. This is where the Riuwaka River emerges from the depths of Tākaka Hill. The water is incredibly clear — it reminded us of some of the cenotes we saw in Mexico a few years ago. The stairs leading down to the cave make for a good photo spot, and you can walk further down the river to get another angle.

It only took us around 30-minutes to do the return walk to the Riuwaka Resurgence and we were impressed with the nature on offer — definitely one to add to your Nelson / Tasman itinerary, whether you’re looking for an easy place to go with kids or you just want to see a unique bit of river.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Motueka and Kaiteriteri are a short drive away, and Tākaka and the wider Golden Bay region are just over the hill. Golden Bay is home to caves, beaches and rock formations and is one of the wildest and least populated parts of New Zealand.

READ MORE: Wharariki Beach, Golden Bay

Wharariki Beach sunset, Golden Bay, New Zealand

Are you planning a trip to New Zealand? Check out our two-week South Island itinerary!

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Jon Algie

I'm a South Island local -- born in Timaru and raised in Dunedin. I left the island in 2006 and returned 10 years later. Having seen a good chunk of the world I realised how special this place is -- the most beautiful island in the world! Seven years (and almost 400 posts) later I'm still helping locals and tourists alike plan their trips around the South Island.