Tag Archives: woodville tararua

Day Trips for the Uninspired: Manawatu Gorge and Tawa Loop Track Walks. Manawatu Region

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.

 

Day Trips for the Uninspired: Tangimoana Beach and Tawhirihoe Scientific Reserve, Manawatu District, Manawatu Region

Seeing as we have being have such great weather, Gina & I decided to go to the beach again. This time we decided on Tangimoana Beach  and Tawhirihoe Scientific Reserve. The Reserve can be accessed via the beach.

Tangimoana beach like many beaches on this coastline has a sand dune landscape, with driftwood scattered around. To help stop the dunes shifting, spinifex grasses have been planted to slow down dune movement.

The dune conservation program was started in 2007. Apparently, these parabolic dunes are the fastest moving in the country. Gina and I didn’t know anything about this, until I started doing some research on the area.

If you would like to read more about the dune conservation, have a read of  ” Volunteers muck in on dune project” written by Emma Goodwin (Evening Standard 2009).

When we arrived there were quite a few people, fishing and walking along the beach.  The seagulls were having a great time hovering around, waiting for their next meal.

The people down there were very friendly, everyone we passed on the beach, smiled and said hello.  Even when we parked the car, a lady stopped and told us of a quicker way to get down to the beach.

We didn’t venture into the reserve that much because I had to fess up and tell Gina, katipo spiders live and breed around the area. I don’t mind spiders but Gina isn’t a fan of them.

The sea was quite warm, so we threw caution to the wind and took our shoes off, although we didn’t go in for a swim because its really not suitable for swimming.

Great place to hang out though, if you like wide open spaces, walking along the beach and just generally chilling out.

Like always, all too soon we had to head for home.

 

 

Day Trips for the Uninspired: Pukaha Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre, Tararua District

Gina and I have visited Pukaha Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre a couple of times. The last time we visited, we really hadn’t made any plans, we were in the car and just decided we would go, as we hadn’t been there for a while.

There is always something interesting to see and do. There is an entry fee, costs etc can be found on their site as well as directions. It took us about hour to get there from Woodville.

The centre is well planned out with easy wheelchair access to most parts of the centre, except for the bush walk.

When you visit Pukaha, you will have the opportunity to see, Kaka, (native parrot) Kiwi in the Kiwi house including Manukura (white kiwi), Long fin eels, Takahe, Tui & Kereru (wood pigeon) as well as Tuatara, just to name a few.

We saw the Takahe from the café, the Kaka flying around in the trees, they often stop by the café to say hello. They are amusing birds to watch, they made us laugh.

Its great to just wander around, you can easily spend the whole day there, as there is plenty to see and do and don’t forget your camera as you will have plenty of photo opportunities.

Day Trips for the Uninspired: Pukepuke Lagoon, Conservation Area, Manawatu District, Manawatu Region

Gina and I are always on the lookout for new places to visit so I thought I would have a look on the Department of Conservation website.

There I came across information on Pukepuke Lagoon, I had never heard of it before and I thought it would be an interesting place to visit.  To visit Pukepuke Lagoon you do need an access permit which are available from the DOC office in Palmerston North.

Pukepuke Lagoon is a dune lake and wetland near Tangimoana, on the Manawatu coast. Directions can be found on the link above.

It was a nice sunny day so with permit and cameras in hand, Gina and I set off, it took us about an hour to get there. When we arrived, we parked the car and walked, (we are great walkers) the rest of the way.

The lagoon is a haven for many species of birds, some migratory, while others, including natives, call the lagoon home.  Many native plants and freshwater fish can be found there also. We had to enter the lagoon via a gate, which needs to be shut after you enter and exit.

There are pathways and boardwalks  all around the lagoon as well as a number of bird hides, which are great for viewing the birds. As it is a wetland you need to stay on the pathways and boardwalks, for your own safety.

We saw a lot of Black swans, Swallows, a few Shags and a Bitten, I also caught a glimpse of a NZ Falcon flying overhead.

It is a very peaceful place and we wished we could have stayed there longer but we had to head home. On the walk back we had an audience, a herd of cows decided they wanted to say hi, they were on the other side of the fence but they were very nosey.

All in all another great day out. It does pay to checkout the DOC website, they have up to date information on places to go, condition of tracks etc.  Like with anywhere you go, you must be prepared.

 

 

 

 

Day Trips for the Uninspired: Manawatu Estuary and Foxton Beach, Horowhenua District, Manawatu Region

Gina and I have visited the Manawatu Estuary and Foxton Beach on a few occasions, at different times of the year. It takes about an hour to get there from Woodville and even less time from Palmerston North. Both locations are in close proximity to each other, so they make for a great day trip out. Directions on how to get there can be found, if you click on the links above.

The Manawatu Estuary is a wetland of international importance and 93 species of birds have been identified there. We have personally seen, Royal spoonbills, Black swans, Pukeko, Pied stilts, Variable oystercatchers and White fronted terns, just to name a few. So if you are an avid bird watcher this is the place for you.

Foxton Beach, like all beaches is a great place to visit winter or summer as there is always something different to see. Gina and I don’t need any excuse to go to the beach,  problem is, we don’t get there often enough.

On a whim, our last trip was in the evening, to watch the sunset, something we haven’t done before. So armed with a torch and cameras we set of, we arrived with minutes to spare and we were rewarded with an amazing sunset.

The torch came in handy though, as it went dark rather quickly and seeing as there is a lot of driftwood on the beach, it helps, if you can see where you are going.

I think we were the only two people left on the beach that night.  So after wandering around on the beach for a while in the dark, with the torch, we decided it was probably a good idea to head home.

Day Trips for the Uninspired: Te Apiti Wind Farm, Tararua District, Manawatu Region

Gina And I visited the Te Apiti Wind Farm in May, it was cold that day and very breezy up there. We saw quite a few people drive in but no one got out of their cars, except us.

We had a good look around at these giant wind turbines and whether you love them or hate them, they are here to stay.

Te Apiti wind farm is situated on the Saddle Road between Woodville & Ashhurst. The car park is open between 8.30am & 5.30pm. The views from the lookout are worth the visit alone.

If you are interested in finding out more about Te Apiti Wind Farm There is a very informative article about the Wind Farms near Woodville written Richard Moore.  Its an easy read, not too technical. There is enough room and flat surface at the Wind Farm for wheelchair access.

After we had finished looking around, yes, you have guessed it, it was coffee time again.

The 1st 4 photos were taken in May, the others were taken on a sunnier and warmer day from the Wetlands Café in the Ashhurst Domain.

 

Day Trips for the Uninspired: Tutukiwi Reserve, Aokautere & Manawatu River, Ashhurst, Manawatu Region

Gina and I decided to go local this week,  so after a bit of searching on Google  I found a reserve neither of us had visited before, so we thought it was worth a visit. The reserve is called Tutukiwi Reserve  and is located on Moonshine Valley Road in Aokautere , a 15 minute drive from Palmerston North. and can be found on the Palmerston North, City Council site, under Facilities and Parks, there’s  12 pages of listings, in all.

Tutukiwi reserve is a picturesque reserve, you can go for a walk  or have a picnic there.  The picnic area , in my opinion, would maybe  be suitable for wheelchairs, if the grass were mown short and the barrier gate was opened.  As they do have a car parking area.

As you leave the picnic area you have to cross over a bridge and there on the other side, we were greeted  by a tree-lined pond/wetland with ducks in the water, water lilies  and the sound of Tuis and Kingfishers, which we did manage to see, along with swallows, as we were leaving the reserve.

All in all, a great spot if you want to chill out and take a break.

We then stopped off  at the Manawatu River, in Ashhurst  we were intending to go for a swim but ended up having a paddle instead. The water was warm but the river level is certainly very low, as you will see from the photos and it is not even the end of January.

All photos on this page are copyright @ Elayne Hand, Brightchic Photography

Day Trips for the Uninspired: Ashhurst Domain, Ashhurst, Only a 15 minute drive from Palmerston North in the Manawatu Region

Ashhurst Domain, Ashhurst,

Palmerston North

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

 

Welcome To Day Trips for the Uninspired: Covering, Manawatu, Palmerston North, Tararua, Wairarapa, Wellington and Hawke’s Bay Regions

Welcome To Day Trips for the Uninspired

My name is Elayne, I am a photographer, adventurer and dog trainer. Once a week my friend Gina & I, don on our tourist hats and seek out new places to visit.  Its not been easy but someone has to do it:-)

We both live in Woodville, a small town located in the Tararua District, which is part of the Manawatu-Wanganui Region.

The Manawatu-Wanganui Region covers a large area, stretching from Ruapehu right down to Horowhenua. Within the region are districts but ultimately they still all fall in under, the Manawatu-Wanganui Region.

I have personally chatted to tourists both on and offline as well as reading some of the travel sites and for many, Palmerston North is seen as a whistle stop destination, they stop at, on their way through to somewhere else.

Many are oblivious to the attractions and places they can visit, in and around the Manawatu.  Except maybe for the Manawatu Gorge Walk and the like and the Gorge walk isn’t for everyone.

After many hours of searching & talking to people from near and far.  I decided to put this blog of our day trips together. People including locals, often say to me “oh there’s nothing really to see or do,  around the Manawatu” and Palmerston North.

On the whole I believe the Manawatu Region has a lot to offer but has been clearly overlooked as a tourist destination, by many.

So down to business,  only places I have personally visited will be listed on this blog. Every places I visit will be listed here and will have its own page. There will be links to websites, photos and of course my personal views. I will also included information as to whether the location is wheelchair friendly. These trips, are what I consider low cost, in most cases, they will only cost you time and petrol as food and drink can be taken with you, as well as, your sense of adventure.

All photos on this site are copyright @ Brightchic Photography 2014