Nikau plans through limestone block.
Image: Bev Bacon | DOC
The track makes its way easily upwards to a viewing platform through a series of limestone blocks, some sculpted into wonderful shapes by water. The tentacle-like roots of northern rātā trees that hang down many of the blocks create an eerie atmosphere. Nīkau palms are also a feature of the reserve.
The Grove Scenic Reserve is about 8 km east of Takaka. At Clifton, turn off Abel Tasman Drive into Clifton Road, then into Rocklands Road. There is a small car park and picnic area about 1 km from Clifton.
Usually, northern rātā begins its life in accumulated forest debris high in the branches of a tree. At the Grove, however, sufficient plant material is available on the limestone blocks for rātā to take a hold there. As the rātā trees get bigger, they send roots down to the ground, enveloping their rocky hosts like a giant hand.