This track provides all the beauty and wilderness of the main track, with less than half the distance and half the time.
The Tawa Loop is an inspiring 2 hour walk which starts at the Ashhurst end of Te Āpiti - Manawatū Gorge. It takes walkers through ancient native bush with access to stunning view points.
This walk branches off the main track about 500m into the walk, meandering up and around the southern edge of the reserve. Some stunning views across Palmerston North can be had from a lookout about halfway around.
The track eventually meets up with the main Manawatū Gorge Track and at this junction stands the sculpture of Whātonga, a Māori warrior. Whātonga was one of three recognised Chiefs on board the Kurahaupo Waka, which journeyed across the Pacific Ocean to Aotearoa, New Zealand possibly as early as the 12th Century.
From the junction walkers can head back down the main track to the Ashhurst carpark.