Takaka Hill

Location: 1.5km from the summit of State Highway 60 as it traverses Takaka Hill.

Elevation: 2953 feet AMSL (900 metres)

GPS co-ordinates for launch: 41°03’70.85″S, 172°83’55.17″E

GPS co-ordinates for landing: 41°03’69.51″S, 172°86’53.71″E


  • Paragliding: PG2
  • Hang gliding: NOV

Launchable wind directions: SW-WSW

Access Requirements: Launch is accessed via a 2WD dirt track 200 metres on the right when descending from the Takaka Hill summit into Golden Bay. The track reaches launch after ascending this road for 1-1.5 km. Vehicles should be parked up to the fence in the airstrip field behind launch.

Airspace: Uncontrolled (Class G – up to 9,500 ft). There is a Mandatory Broadcast Zone with a radius of 5 nautical miles of Motueka Airfield, so pilots may only go into this zone if using an aircraft band radio on frequency 123.7 and holding a pilot radio operator endorsement. This airfield is just 8.33 nautical miles SE of launch; therefore pilots must be careful if considering venturing anywhere in the direction of Tasman Bay.


  • This site is subject to thermic wind changes/dust devils and turbulence in summer/strong wind conditions, or with changes in predominant wind throughout the day. This can lead to conditions on launch ‘going tailwind’ suddenly and for indefinite periods.
  • There are power lines hazards including some that are difficult to identify and are in areas where pilots are likely to search for lift.
  • Wind in landing area can change from what might be expected.

General Flying Guide: In winter the SW wind prevails but is usually stronger at Takaka than at other sites in the Nelson/Tasman region. In light and variable conditions, thermal activity may yield suitable periods to launch, particularly when solar heating of the hill side occurs around mid-afternoon. As a rule of thumb, in all other seasons flying conditions are often best in the morning. Particularly in the summer, advancing sea breezes may cause thermal activity to become broken up and extremely turbulent. Westerly and NW winds are also turbulent at this site.

Landing Zone: The main landing zone can be seen from launch. It comprises a very long field sometimes used by agricultural aircraft for aerial fertiliser spreading. At the northern end of this filed is another field often used for landing as well. Gates should be left as found but if unsure, or livestock are grazing in the landing field and a gate to the road is open, please shut and notify Nigel Harwood (027) 425 7004.

Landowners: The Harwood family. Over successive generations this family have supported our flying activities on their land. It is essential that pilots ensure problems are not created, and that if so, they are resolved and reported firstly to the THGPC Sites Officer or if unreachable then to another senior THGPC pilot immediately.

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