Found on the edge of the coastal town of New Plymouth in the country of New Zealand is a walkway that stretches for 12.7-kilometer (7.9 mi). The walkway snakes from the port of Taranaki, along with and past the central city and inside Hickford Park. It goes through Bell Block Beach, past Bell Block’s Tiromoana Crescent which is all the way in the north-eastern part of New Plymouth.
The coastal walkway is part of the top tourist destinations of New Plymouth, and you should add it as part of your itinerary if you plan on visiting the area.
The first part of the shore way was completed in 1999. This was the stretch on the Wind Wand that was meant to be 7 kilometers (4.3 mi) long. However, in 2010 the extension to Bell Block was added, which was 3 kilometers long. The extension to Tiromoana Crescent was added in 2014, and in 2016 it was further extended to the Mangati Reserve through the Mangati Pathway to bring the distance total to 12.7km.
The award-winning promenade stretches from city to sea and spans the entire beach area of New Plymouth which, as we know, has arguably one of the best and most stunning beaches in New Zealand.
It is ideal for walking, cycling, skating, and scooter driving has dramatic views and numerous access points along the walkway.The walkway also passes through some of the famous landmarks in the city, including the Wind Ward and the bridge at Te Rewa Rewa.
There are a lot of highlights that are part of the walkway, and we will mention some of the most popular ones here.
The walkway starts at Port Taranaki; for those familiar with the area, then you know that Port Taranaki was built around Ngamotu Beach, which happens to be a very family-friendly beach for those on family trips.
The walkway will access the CBD and also the Marine Aquatic Centre, which is of the most popular swimming areas with a family-friendly swimming pool. The pool has multiple hydro slides and other fun stuff like diving boards and trampolines that kids will like. Similarly, it has artificial wave machines for those artificial waves in the pool. There is also an adult-sized pool outside, so it’s not just fun for the kiddies.
New Plymouth is famous for its arts, sculptors, and culture, which can be accessed after the CBD. There are museums and different art galleries in this area for your enjoyment. The Puke Ariki, which is the primary museum, can be found next to the only shopping center which is actually in the form of a mall, and you can enjoy the exhibits to your pleasure.
The city is also known for its coffee and its cultural significance, so you can sample the delicacies from the many great coffee cafes in this area.
Next along the walkway is the East End beach, which is very trendy with the swimming crowd because of its facilities and the presence of lifeguards during the summer months. There are a lot of sitting and relaxing areas as well as an indoor skating rink, the river mouth playground area, and a skate park.
Next along the path is Fitzroy beach, which is another trendy swimming spot for its facilities, lifeguards, and kids pools for those kids who do not want to go into the ocean.
Next on the path you will find the famous bridge at Te Rewa Rewa, which is a very trendy landmark that sees a lot of foot traffic and visitors. It is an excellent photo opportunity and quite a big tourist attraction.
The path does go on past the bridge, but most tourists usually stop here because the walkway goes through some country area before reaching Bell Block.
How to Enjoy the Walkway
The best way to enjoy the walkway has to do with simply exploring as you go along the trail because there are a lot of things to do around it. You are almost guaranteed to find something that you would enjoy along the way.
You can explore the walkway through several means.
Firstly if you are up to it, then you can simply walk and hit every landmark as you go along. Running and jogging is also an option if you are looking to get your exercise on. The patch way is a great scenic route for you to jog along and enjoy.
Secondly, you can rent a bicycle and explore as much as you want on two wheels. Chaddy’s Charters at Port Taranaki and the Cycle Inn which is located on Devon Street are the two places where you can find bikes for hire. Cycle Inn has electric bikes, tandem bikes, and the wind wander for a truly unique experience.
Thirdly, in 2018 Blip Scooters, a local Taranaki start-up of electric scooters, petitioned the mayor to allow the controversial e-scooters on the trail. Blip uses an app where you use it to find a blip, pay the fee, use it, and then park it anywhere on a bike rack or any other safe location. You then lock it for the next person to use through the app.
Fourthly you can use the walkway to visit all the magnificent beaches in the area for swimming and other beach activities. Ngamotu, for example, is a very calm beach for swimming that the other two Fitzroy and East End. If you would like to try surfing, then you can try it at both Fitzroy and East End, which are the ideal spots for that.
Lastly, since New Plymouth is well known for its culinary delights, especially coffee, why not use the walkway to connect between many of the cafes that dot the coastline. Make it a cultural experience by adding the museum, and don’t forget to see the landmarks, especially the Paritutu, which is right after the Back Beach and a bridge famously known as the bridge at Te Rewa Rewa.
The Coastal Walkway combines both functionalities for the locals and great tourist attractions for the visitors. It is an award-winning experience that provides a unique cultural experience than any other place.