Totara Walk

Totara Walk

Pelorus Bridge Scenic Reserve



7 Rankers Reviews

6 Face-to-Face

154 Walking

6 Pelorus

Your Nature Guide

Marios Gavalas's avatar

Marios Gavalas

Author And Researcher

Nau mai, haere mai

I'm Marios, delivering the best of Aotearoa's nature walks to your device.

I've personally walked hundreds of New Zealand's tracks and spent months in libraries uncovering interesting information on New Zealand/Aotearoa. And you'll find a slice of that research on this page - enjoy!



Pelorus River along the Totara Walk


800 m return | 30 minutes return

This wheelchair graded loop passes through some fine forest, dominated by a high canopy of totara with a sub-canopy of tawa.


Pelorus Bridge is 9km west of Canvastown and 9km south of Rai Valley on SH6. Tawa Path and Waterfalls tracks are accessed from the parking area by the tea rooms. For other tracks it’s safer to park on the far side of SH6 as this is a busy road.

The start of the track is signposted on the opposite side of SH6 from the tea rooms parking area. There’s also a parking area on this side of the road so you don’t have to cross busy SH6.


This wheelchair graded loop passes through more fine forest. Shortly after the start of the track there’s a detour to a shingle beach by the river.

At the apex of the corner there’s views up to Pelorus Bridge.

A further detour takes you alongside the river to Totara Flat Picnic Area (10 minutes one-way).

Just before the end of the track, look for the massive totara on the left.


This forest is dominated by a high canopy of totara with a sub-canopy of tawa. The understorey is mostly regenerating broadleaf species with kamahi, hinau, black beech and putaputaweta. Coprosmas form the shrub tier with pongas, five finger and horopito. The floor of ferns give a lush, yet open feel to the forest.

The totara was revered amongst Maori for its strength. They carved waka, built whare and carved food boxes from the hard wood. For early settlers, totara was the preferred wood for use in fence posts, power poles, railway sleepers and bridges. As it was resistant to the teredo worm, it also found favour in the construction of wharves. This forest was thankfully spared.


Feature Value Info


South IslandMarlboroughPelorus


  • Walking
  • Free



Mike Fricker's avatar

Mike Fricker

Ranking: 10/10

06Oct18. Not really sure why there is a separate entry for this. As good as the other walks.

Reviewed about 2 years ago

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Erik Meier-Diukel's avatar

Erik Meier-Diukel


Ranking: 8/10

Nice places in the forest, much water, not many people.

Reviewed over 3 years ago and experienced in December 2016

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Clayton Hunniford's avatar

Clayton Hunniford


Ranking: 10/10

The most jaw dropping experience yet. It was as if mermaids inhabited the pristine, clear water. Rain or shine, you will be rewarded.

Reviewed over 4 years ago and experienced in February 2016

Thank You - to the thousands of travellers that have contributed to our Top Voted NZ Activities Map - it's free from Rankers.

Sydney Lupton's avatar

Sydney Lupton


Ranking: 8/10

We took this walk spontaneously and decided to go the route of the river access. It is a bit hard to walk down but so worth it. Crystal clear calm waters and beautiful places to jump in!

Reviewed over 4 years ago and experienced in February 2016

Niels Wezenberg's avatar

Niels Wezenberg


Ranking: 8/10

Great little spot for a dip, beautiful water.

Reviewed over 4 years ago

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Laina Black's avatar

Laina Black


Ranking: 7/10

Make sure you walk down to the river! The water is so clear and make the perfect swimming hole at the right time of the year!

Reviewed about 6 years ago and experienced in March 2014

Isabelle Bohle's avatar

Isabelle Bohle


Ranking: 10/10

Hard to get into the water, but totally worth it, breathtaking scenery.

Reviewed over 6 years ago and experienced in February 2014

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Thanks to all the good people working for the NZ Department of Conservation - for all your hard work - making NZ more beautiful, accessable and healthy! Cheers 😍

Nick Morrison's avatar

Nick Morrison

Rankers owner