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The Grove scenic reserve is a wee quiet space of green nikau palms and limestone gullies, hidden away above the farmland at Clifton in Golden Bay.
To find it leave Takaka on Abel Tasman Drive. Just before the small beach settlement of Pohara turn right onto Clifton Rd and meander towards the foothills.
From the car park the track wanders gently through the trees, following the natural cracks, ravines and outcrops created by the water- worn character of the limestone. Watch out for the friendly piwakawaka (fantails) who like to flutter around visitors, and listen out for the tui and bellbirds high up in the canopy. If you are lucky you might spot a kereru (native wood pigeon), who especially like to feed on nikau berries.
Along the track you can see the roots of Northern Rata trees, which curl down and over the rocks like rough octopus tentacles. These trees have an incredible display of flowers in the height of summer-they look like brilliant red foam.
From the car park it takes around 20 minutes to walk to the lookout. From here you can see out over the farmland and across the Motupipi estuary to get a bird’s eye view of Golden Bay. Don’t forget your camera!
The Grove is an awesome place for kids because the tracks and rocks are perfect to run around on and the lookout has a sturdy wooden railing. There are plenty of trees to climb around the car park, making it a lovely place to spread out a picnic lunch and listen to the birds.