Top walks in Manawatū

Let the magic of Manawatū captivate you. Put on your walking shoes and explore ancient bush, rivers, gorges, waterfalls and swimming holes. The best of nature is just a few steps away...

1. Te Āpiti - Manawatū Gorge Track

Te Āpiti – Manawatū Gorge(opens in new window) is a must-do walk on your New Zealand journey. The scenic divide between the Tararua and Ruahine Ranges is a magnificent geographical structure formed over thousands of years by the Manawatū River. The main walking track is 11.2km in length and takes you high above the river and gorge below. Or for a shorter walk, check out the 4km Te Āpiti – Manawatū Gorge Tawa Loop Track(opens in new window)

2. Rangiwahia Hut Track

Head to the tussock tops with jaw dropping views along the way. This well-graded track is an ideal day overnight tramp for families with children and new trampers. Listen out for the astonishing bird life. Some of the common species seen along the track include the grey warbler, tomtit, wax eye, chaffinch, yellow hammer, fantail, shining cuckoo and kererū.

Explore Rangiwahia Hut Track

3. Sledge Track

Enjoy stunning waterfalls, swimming holes and picnic spots away from the crowds at this scenic track just outside Palmerston North city. Nestled in the heart of the scenic Kahuterawa Valley, the Sledge Track(opens in new window) offers a stunning and varied adventure past towering trees, swimming holes, rocky waterfalls and historic mining relics.

Whether you are on the track for an easy walk or a serious tramp, keep an eye out for the thriving bush-clad wildlife, from kapokapowai, the giant bush dragonfly to the many native birds that call the valley home. 

4. He Ara Kotahi Pathway

Crossing the Manawatū River from the cityside, the shared path leads you to He Ara Kotahi – ‘The pathway that brings people together'. Surrounded by breathtaking beauty the entire way, you’ll be traversing battle sites, a pine forest, dairy farmlands, the Keebles bush tree-top walkway and Kahuterawa stream margins. 

The star attraction of this walk is the 194m long He Ara Kotahi Bridge(opens in new window), connecting the beautiful Victoria Esplanade park gardens with the other side of the river. From the sky, the bridge looks like a fallen Karaka tree and by night, the bridge is lit up by stars that have been sown into the bridge, creating a feeling of the bridge floating above the river.     

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