Gina and I only live a few minutes away from the Manawatu Gorge and river. The Gorge is unique in many ways and if you are a local, you sometimes forget the natural wonder, that is on your doorstep.
Whether it be daytime, evening, winter or summer the gorge has many faces, if you choose to open your eyes and look.
To add to the Manawatu Gorge’s uniqueness, it is one of the few places in the world where a river passes through a dividing range and where the road, rail and river, run parallel alongside each other.
For a few months of the year, large numbers of Tui can be seen feeding on the flax plants that line the Ashhurst end of the gorge. I have personally seen them there from Nov/Dec through to end of January.
Gina & I have walked the Tawa Loop Track, a couple of times but I have personally walked it four times. Its a 4km walk and takes about 2 hours to complete. Whereas the Gorge Walk is 10km and can take anywhere between 3-5 hours one way. You have to be reasonably fit, doc suggest easy-medium fitness level. Click on the Department of Conservation links above for more details and directions.
The views from the top of the track are amazing, even on a winters day, we could see the wind farm, gorge, river and landscape as far as the eye can see. At the top of the loop there is a statue of Whatonga with an information plaque telling the story of Whatonga. Click on the link above to find out more information
Always make sure you take plenty of water and dress accordingly. The first time Gina and I walked the Tawa Loop, was in winter, we had just gone and bought some new tramping boots so we stopped on the way home from Palmerston North to try them out. It was raining a bit and quite cool but we made good time and were back in the car park by 4.30pm after which we headed home.