The Coastal Walkway

About

In 1997 the planning for the Coastal Walkway began and within 2 years the construction of the then 7km-long walkway from Ngamotu Beach in the east to the Waiwhakaiho River in the west began. It was completed in December 2001, excluding the lower Woolcombe Terrace  path, which required cliff strengthening. In 2003, the lower path in front of the cliffs (between the city and the East End Reserve) was constructed and the entire pathway was raised by 2m to a finished height of 7m above sea level.

An important feature of the path along the sea margin is the use of robust materials with strong lines and textures to stand up to and reflect upon the character of the west coast as well as a curved seawall in front of the city centre to provide protection from the waves.

Begin the Coastal Walkway at Ngamotu Beach There is plenty of parking and you can enjoy some time at the beach – a safe swimming beach for the family.

Near to Ngamotu Beach are several points of interest:

  • At Back Beach you may see some of the many surfers that flock there for the great surf breaks all year round. If it’s adventure you’re after then head to the sand dunes with your body board.
  • From the Back Beach car park follow Centennial Dr to Paritutu Rock, one of Taranaki’s must-do experiences. Climb to the top of this steep volcano outcrop and enjoy panoramic coastal views of the region, the Tasman Sea and the adjacent Sugar Loaf Islands.
  • From Ngamotu Beach it is an easy walk to various historical points of interest including the Settlers Memorial, Dicky Barrett’s Grave and the Beam Pump Memorial.
  • Heading east, the Coastal Walkway then arrives at Breakwater Bay. Take a quick rest at one of the various restaurants by the Port, overlooking the harbour.
  • Kawaroa Park is the ultimate in child friendly experiences with the newly refurbished play area boasting huge slides that head straight for the sea. Within the park is the Todd Energy Aquatic Centre, complete with a 50m outdoor swimming pool as well as 1m and 3m high diving boards.
In 2004 the new ‘lightning bolt’ bridge over Te Henui Stream opened and 2 years later the pedestrian bridge and viewing platform from Liardet Street opened, creating a safe connection from the city’s business and shopping area. In 2007 the NPDC and Ngati Tawhirikura Hapu signed Te Rewa Rewa Agreement and plans began for Te Rewa Rewa Bridge. 

In 2008, at the request of the Hapu, the design of the bridge was turned around so that the span opens towards the mountain, a feature that soon became one of the most iconic in Taranaki. Construction started in 2009 and within a year the bridge was formally opened for public use, along with a 4km extension of the walkway from the Waiwhakaiho River mouth to Hickford Park - bringing the Coastal Walkway’s entire length to 11km.

The 83m long Te Rewa Rewa Bridge is reminiscent of a breaking wave or a whale skeleton. It was designed and built by a consortium led by local company Whitaker Civil Engineering Limited and included Novare Design, CPG and Fitzroy Engineering. 

Approaching the central section of the walkway there are more points of interest:
  • You will see the Honeyfield Drinking Fountain, constructed in 1907, which represents the philanthropy behind early urban beautification schemes and the development of New Plymouth’s celebrated waterfront promenade.
  • Once you reach the New Plymouth District’s iconic 45 metre Wind Wand, where you will see a number of interesting stone carvings and pieces of public art, you can take a detour into the CBD - home to the award-winning and innovative heritage and information centre Puke Ariki and the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/ Len Lye Centre.
  • Continue on the walkway to Te Henui Bridge, where you can extend your walk onto the popular Te Henui Walkway heading inland alongside the picturesque Te Henui Stream.
  • Returning to the coast, your next point of interest is Fitzroy Beach, a popular venue for national and international surfing competitions.
  • Pass Fitzroy Motor Camp and the New Plymouth Golf Course and you will come to the dramatic Te Rewa Rewa Bridge, which frames Mount Taranaki
In the late 1980s the Ministry of Defence declared the 26ha Te Rewa Rewa Reserve surplus and in 1995 the NPDC bought the land with the intention to manage it jointly with Ngati Tawhirikura Hapu and use part of it to extend the Coastal Walkway northward. In 2007 the NPDC got a coastal strip to extend the Coastal Walkway to Bell Block, and the Hapu were given the opportunity to develop the rest of the site for the cultural benefit of the Hapu as well as the wider community.

Then in 2008 Land Transport New Zealand announced it would pay $1.88m of the cost to extend the Coastal Walkway, the 4km from Waiwhakaiho to Bell Block, and the rest of the cost would be met by NPDC and the Whitaker Family Trust.

In 2012, the $1.2 million Cycle Park was officially opened at Bell Block’s Hickford Park, marking an end to a 12-year period Taranaki had been without a velodrome. Accessibility was a key design feature of the extension from Fitzroy to Bell Block. It was important to make the Coastal Walkway and Cycleway accessible for all and this was successfully achieved with the use of clever design.

The final points of interest along the Coastal Walkway:
  • Use the Te Rewa Rewa Bridge to cross the Waiwhakaiho River which flows from Mount Taranaki and holds many native fish and trout.
  • Continue your walk through picturesque farmland where you can take a detour up to the award winning lifestyle development, The Links.
  • Continue on towards Bell Block and come to the Waipu Lagoons, a series of small coastal lagoons, which provide habitat for a wide variety of birdlife, including the Australasian Bittern, Australian Coot, Grey Teal and Pukeko.
  • Next is Hickford Park, where you will come to the brand new cycle park featuring a 1.75km closed road circuit and a 333m banked Velodrome built to world competition standards.
  • You can then continue across to Mangati Walkway, down to Bell Block Beach’s western end through to Tiromoana Crescent.

Contact Details

Physical Address

Puke Ariki, 1 Ariki Street, New Plymouth

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