Te Henui Walkway
The Te Henui Walkway is gazetted as a "national walkway" It is one of the most beautiful and the most popular of New Plymouth's two river walkways and yet, incredibly, it originates from a sewage pipe route! The Te Henui winds its way up from the coast through a variety of native and exotic flora including Rewa Rewa, Pohutakawa, Puriri, Puketea, a collection of rare Oaks from around the world, magnolia and camellia collection plus many other species. The valleys are abundant with Kereru (wood pigeon), Piwakawaka (fantail) and Tui. It passes several picnic areas and swimming holes. With mellow gradients and reliable surfaces Te Henui Pathway is ideal for walking, cycling, running and everything in between, including pushing off-road baby buggies. Travelling Te Henui on foot will allow you the time to appreciate the natural features and landmarks. The sounds of the stream, which is always near the pathway, are particularly soothing without vehicle noise. The pathway follows Te Henui stream as it snakes its way towards the ocean with a meandering loop along the way.
Bikers please signal your approach and pass with care.
Description of the Walkway to Cumberland Street
There are many places to access this walkway, but to complete the whole walk, begin from the 'lightning bolt' bridge on the Coastal Walkway at the East End Reserve, the eastern end of Buller Street. All of the track from East End to Cumberland St has been upgraded with a good surface ( except a small section of track before the steps). DOC recommended times are from East End to Cumberland Street 50min (3.5 km). The path follows Te Henui Stream from East End Reserve to Cumberland St. The route shown on map below is circular with a number of different access points. You will past historic places while walking through bush and forest reserves and across open pastures all with the city only a stone's throw away. A concrete path takes you under the railway bridge on the eastern side of the Te Henui River. Follow this around past the bowling club, cross the river and go left to follow the river past the croquet greens. Before going under the Devon Street Bridge were you are likely to encounter hungry ducks waiting for an offering.
At Courtenay St you can take a short detour to the historic Te Henui Vicarage . Built in 1844 the vicarage is now home to local potters and open to the public on weekends from 1pm-4pm.
Back on the walkway, follow the track under Northgate bridge (SH3) to Waiwaka Reserve, Walk through the reserve past extensive plantings of camellias, magnolias and deciduous trees. It's hard to believe that before 1961 this area was just an overgrown rubbish tip! Cross the footbridge over the stream and turn immediately right (with the stream now on your right). Back to your left is Pukewarangi Pa a once fortified Maori village where earth works and trenches are still clearly visible.
Follow the walkway as it meanders through bush and open grassy spaces, eventually leading up and down some wooden steps (the path to the left leads to Warangi St). Continue following the river and you will pass Pukatea Dell, a native planting hidden away on your left. You will soon pass a entrance on the left which leads to Spencer Pl. For a short while you will be walking between residential housing on your left and the stream on your right. This area is dedicated to local horticulturalist Keith Adams in recognition of the trees he planted in the area. Visit Adams Point on the left and have a swim in a popular swimming hole. The path continues, along quiet stretches of bush and through open spaces. to your right over the river are the majestic native trees of the Aotea Reserve. The path through native bush eventually arrives at a ribbon of city housing on your left Just a 100 mts further up the track you will emerge onto Cumberland St.
On reaching Cumberland Street you have three options
1 Turn back and return on the same path.
2 Continue to the end of the walkway, (another 1.5km)It is very scenic, and worth the walk.
3 Cross the bridge and continue down the other side of the river. The circular route distance from East End and return is 5.9km (two plus hours circular).
Description of Option 2 to continue to Durham
You need to cross both Cumberland Street and the river, cross across the grass on the right side of the river that eventually narrows to a track with a reassuring sign that you are going the right way! The track winds its way around before crossing the river below the main road and beginning to climb up the 56 steps to Durham Ave. Here it is possible now to walk a loop around and back to Cumberland, walk down Durham, left at Junction Road, left at Puketotara, left at Heta Road down to Cumberland. There is also a walkway you could try and find to shorten this walk. It's a short path links London Terrace to Heta Road. To find this pathentrance turn into London Terrace and 50 odd meters on the first corner there is a road off to the left. That is the link to Heta road.
Photo on right shows shortcut route from London Terrace to Heta Road
Description of Option 3 Returning to East End on the other side of the river.
On arriving at Cumberland St cross the bridge and return down the other side of the stream. You now have the stream on your right and are facing towards the sea. This section of the track slopes up to leaving the stream below as you head towards Aotea Reserve (C5) and pass through a wooden gateway onto Dean Walk. The path continues up and down along the edge of the reserve parallel with the river. Cross another small footbridge and on your left are steps to Oriental St. Cross another footbridge over Shirley's Pool and you then eventually come to another footbridge and a steep climb. At the T intersection at the top of the slope turn right (turn left to go through the reserve to Turi St. Climb some more steps and up the long, steep slope to the end of Timandra St. Cross the road and head straight along a mown strip of grass with Timandra Lodge Motel on your right. Turn right along the road in front of the motel and turn right again into Avery Reserve This is just before Frank Wilson Tce. This path takes you pass the Parihamore Pa, home to a famous Maori legend. Climb a small incline and you will enter the historic Te Henui Cemetery (C3) Te Henui Cemetery was established in 1861 and was New Plymouth's main cemetery and contains many graves of the early settlers. Passing through the cemetery you will see a kauri tree at a roundabout. There is a sign to the left of this kauri which shows the burial layout in their denominations. From this roundabout you make your way back onto the walkway which is on your left.
Download Te Henui Walkway map (One page 461KB PDF)
Previous page: TERRAIN Blogspot
Next page: Aerial photograph showing tree positions, tracks and entrances.