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Slide a short walk into your day

SLIDE A SHORT WALK INTO YOUR DAY

Short on time but still keen to stretch the legs? Fancy a stroll with your sandwich during your lunch break? Or perhaps it’s time for the kids to soak up the sunshine and run wild for an hour. Luckily for you, it’s easy to pack a walk into your day whether you’re in the middle of town or out in the bush. Here’s our top spots to get your nature fix in Manawatū, that you can tick off in approximately an hour or less.

LINKLATER RESERVE WALKWAY | 30 MINS

The 3km pathway at Linklater Reserve is perfect for walkers young and old – and of the fluffy kind! This dog-friendly reserve features open parkland and wetland areas across bridges and boardwalks. Plane-spotters, keep an eye to the sky and you’ll be rewarded with views of aircraft as they approach or depart the nearby runway. Young pilots-in-training can play in the Cessna 421 plane and fly down the dual flying fox – and if they’re still not ready to take off yet, grab a flying disc for a round of frisbee golf. 

VICTORIA ESPLANADE | 5-60 MINS

This much-loved Palmy park is filled with walking trails short and long – and if you work in town, chances are it’s just a few blocks away from your mahi. Choose from a flat stroll through native bush, gorgeous rose gardens or along the riverside. Most of the tracks are buggy-friendly as well – with the playgrounds, paddling pool and duck pond offering plenty to keep the young ones entertained. 

BLEDISLOE TO OLD WEST ROAD | 1 - 1.5 HOURS

Escape to Bledisloe Park and unwind in nature or bring the tamariki for an adventure in their big backyard. The 3.2km gravel track winds its way past Turitea Stream, with gentle-to-moderate climbs through ever-changing scenery. Soak up the tranquillity of the lush greenery, pine forest and farmland as you listen to the chorus of colourful birdlife. The highlight of the track is Massey Arboretum, where you’ll come face-to-face with rare, exotic trees of all shapes and sizes – a true oasis away from the city centre. Once you’ve completed the circuit, tire the kids out at the nearby playground by the Atawhai Road access point.  

KŌWHAI PARK TO KITCHENER PARK | 60 MINS

This pair of bush reserves are just a stone’s throw from Feilding town centre, and are brimming with native trees up to 30m tall – including an 800-year-old kahikatea and what’s rumoured to be Aotearoa’s tallest kōwhai! Go north to south (or vice versa) and create a picturesque 6km loop that meanders past the Makino Stream and across boardwalks. If you have more time up your sleeve, stop in to see the rose bushes, butterfly gardens and bird aviary at Kōwhai Park.

ASHHURST DOMAIN | 25-35 MINS

Perfect for a light dose of cardio, the variety of circuits on offer at Ashhurst Domain allow you to choose your own adventure! Go bush and immerse yourself in native flora and fauna, or soak up the views of wetlands and windfarms. If it’s a scorcher, pop your togs on and cool off at the river’s edge. 

As a remnant of the original ancient forest, you’ll also be treated to the magical melodies of birdsong – keep your eyes and ears open for kereru, tūī, bellbirds, grey warblers and fantails. Or wander down to the wetlands to see waterfowl, white-faced herons, pied stilts and numerous species of duck. 

ALICE NASH MEMORIAL HERITAGE LODGE TRACK | 60 MINS

Near Kimbolton and Āpiti lies the Oroua River – a spectacular forested valley at the foot of the Ruahine Ranges. Take on the short but spectacular trail to see this gorge in all its glory – accessed via a majestic arched wooden bridge. This wilderness adventure has no shortage of scenery, and if you’re like to spend a night in the bush, pack your tramping gear and stay in the 8-bed historic hut at the end of the track. 

RANGIWAHIA BUSH RESERVE TRACK | 45-60 MINS

This 130-acre reserve offers an insight into what the region looked like in the days pre-European settlement – with something to see around every corner. A 2.1km return track takes you through an untouched slice of virgin bush abundant with rimu, rata, miro, matai, and plenty more. It’s an ideal weekend escape, where you can tune out of the city’s hustle and bustle and reconnect with nature. 

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