Swimming hole at Paynes Ford
Image: Cris Lovell-Smith | ©
The track follows the line of a tramline that operated between the early 1880s and 1905, and was used to take timber from the Takaka Valley down to Waitapu wharf. It provides access to some excellent swimming holes in the Takaka River as well as to rock climbing areas.
There is a large picnic area with a toilet beside the highway bridge.
With its impressive line of limestone bluffs emerging from a remnant patch of forest, Paynes Ford is one of New Zealand's best rock-climbing areas. Climbers come from far and wide to enjoy the challenge of the sheer rock faces - these are definitely not for beginners!
Entrance to the Paynes Ford Scenic Reserve is at 1886 Takaka Valley Highway SH60, 3 km south of Takaka.
Paynes Ford Scenic Reserve takes its name from the original ford across the flood-prone Takaka River on the main road into Takaka. A modern bridge now replaces the ford.