The name Onekaka is Maori and translated as 'burning sands'.
It is the former site of a large ironworks that operated from 1920 to the early 1930s, pipes and pig iron were produced until the operation became uneconomical. An old dam associated with iron works has recently been converted to a small scale hydroelectric scheme.
Dairy farming is a significant activity occupying a large proportion of the surrounding land area.
In the last thirty years a significant number of artists and craftspeople have settled in the Onekaka area giving the community a colourful and green feel.
From Takaka or Collingwood, take State Highway 60, because it is is the only road in town, or out of town, either way.
Walk, because it leaves a smaller carbon footprint than using your car to travel those few extra metres after you parked it.
There's a glow-worm trail across the way from the Mussel Inn that's just lovely to wander through once you've had a few.
At the Mussel Inn because there is no take-away food (allowed) in town.
The Mussel Inn, State Highway 60, Onekaka RD2 Takaka (About 17 miles past Takaka towards Collingwood.), ☎ +64 3 525 9241 (Phone or fax after 11 AM only and you will probably get a staff member, so e-mail is preferred., email@example.com, fax: +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. Visitors from all around the world come and see the Inn as it is a unique, alternative place that brews its own beers. The finest beers (take care with Monkey Puzzle) and some of the tastiest grub can be found here - and should be partaken here, as you cannot take it away, unfortunately, due to a licencing technicality to do with the only road in town being a state highway. Great place do 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 mustalid (stoat, ferret or weasel) or cat with one of the Inn's beers, while a rat wins a chocolate fish.
Shambalah, State Highway 60, Onekaka (over the road from Mussel Inn, on the coast), . Backpackers
Laidback Lodge, State Highway 60, Onekaka (an easy walk from Mussel Inn, just down the road), .
Tukurua for more places to sleep - Adrift (Beach front), Moonbow (beachfront B&B), Winspears, Patton's Rock Beach Villas, Golden Bay Lodge (Beachfront), Golden Bay Holiday Park