I have to say the Ashhurst Domain, in my opinion is one of the most overlooked places to visit, in the Manawatu. It is also very close to the Ashhurst township. This public park and reserve has something to offer everyone. and it is only a 15 minute drive from Palmerston North.
This is a dog friendly place (dogs are allowed but must be kept under control at all times). There is a camping ground and facilities, the Wetlands Café, (stop in for a bite to eat and a drink.) Great views of Te Apiti wind farm, Wharite Peak and Wetlands below, can be seen from the Café.
There’s sports fields, a children’s playground and BBQ area, numerous walks, some through very old native bush and along the Manawatu River.
The Manawatu Pathway walk, entrance, located down by the road bridge by the Manawatu river, is a great walk, and is suitable for everyone of all ages, and is wheelchair friendly. (assistance maybe required). The upper domain circuit as shown in this map is also wheelchair friendly.
The domain is alive with bird life, depending on what time of year you visit. I have personally seen, Black swans, Pukeko, dotterel, ducks, Kingfisher, Australasian bittern in the Domain Wetlands and along the Manawatu river in winter, Black backed gulls, Pied stilts and Caspian terns. The Tui, Fantail (piwakawaka) NZ Wood Pigeon (kereru), Bellbird (korimako) , Silver eyes along with a variety of Finches, Blackbirds, Thrushes and Sparrows and the occasional NZ Falcon, all call the domain home.
Easy enough to spend the whole day here as there is plenty to see and do.
If you would like to find out more about the Ashhurst Domain visit Ashhurst’s local website Ashhurst Dot Org
All photos on this page are copyright @ Elayne Hand, Brightchic Photography 2015