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Onekaka is a rural district on the coast between Takaka and Collingwood in Golden Bay, at the northwestern tip of the South Island, New Zealand. It has a population of around 250. The name Onekaka is from Māori and could be translated as 'hot sand' or 'hot beach'.

Dairy farming is a significant activity, occupying a large proportion of the area. A significant number of artists and craftspeople live in the area giving the community a colourful and green feel.

An ironworks operated here from 1924 to 1935, with a tramway running to a wharf. The works produced pig iron and pipes until the operation proved uneconomic. An old hydroelectric plant for the iron works was restarted in 2003 and feeds the national grid.

Get in[edit]

From Takaka or Collingwood, take State Highway 60 (SH 60), which is the only road that runs right through the district.

Takaka Aerodrome is 9 km away at Puramahoi and has regular flights on small aircraft by Golden Bay Air from Wellington, Nelson and Karamea. The airline also does charter flights and scenic flights. You can rent a car at the aerodrome.

Get around[edit]

Map of Onekaka


  • The glow-worm trail across the way from the Mussel Inn is lovely to wander through once you've had a few.
  • 1 Remnant of wharf and tramline, Washbourn Rd.
  • 2 Washbourn Scenic Reserve (access from SH 60). There is an easy walk of 15 min each way through the forest.



Composting toilets.


At the Mussel Inn.


  • 1 The Mussel Inn, SH 60, +64 3 525 9241, . A popular place for visitors and locals alike. There is various entertainment ranging from live music to quiz nights and poetry nights. They grow their own hops and brew their own beers. The finest beers (take care with Monkey Puzzle) and some of the tastiest grub can be found here – and need to be partaken here, as you cannot take it away, unfortunately, due to a licencing technicality to do with the road being a state highway. Great place to do a little drinking, eating, making friends and listening to music. Conservation of the surrounding native forest is supported through rewarding those that bring in the tail of an introduced predator such as a mustelid (stoat, ferret or weasel) or cat with one of the Inn's beers, while a rat wins a chocolate fish.


  • 1 Adrift in Golden Bay, 52 Tukurua Rd, Parapara (2 km north of the Mussel Inn), +64 3 525 8353. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 10:00. Five star luxury self-contained cottages. Absolute beachfront, right on a quiet, sandy beach. Seasonal rates, up to 50% discount in low season. $160-480.
  • 2 Golden Bay Lodge, 60 Upper Tukurua Rd, Parapara. On the beachfront.
  • 3 Laidback Lodge, SH 60. A self-catering lodge. An easy walk from the Mussel Inn.
  • 4 Shambhala Retreat, off SH 60 (by the beach, down a lane between Iron Works Rd and Mussel Inn), +64 3 525 8463. Lodge, cabins and retreats.

Go next[edit]

  • Collingwood – depart here for Farewell Spit
  • Takaka – to buy some of the Mussel Inn beers and cider, because you can take it away from Takaka, while you're not allowed to take it away from Mussel Inn itself!

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