Follow this extremely scenic promenade from city to sea and make the most of the diverse scenery, playgrounds and swimming beaches along the way.
The Coastal Walkway offers unequalled views of Taranaki’s snow-capped volcano, beautiful beaches, lush parklands and offshore rocky islands dotted with dozing seals. This 8-mile (13-kilometer) long oceanfront trail shows the best of New Plymouth.
Since its completion in 2003 the Coastal Walkway has been a favorite with the locals, who come here to walk their dogs, get fit or simply catch the cool ocean breezes. Whether you walk, jog, cycle or roll along on your in-line skates, you’ll never get bored of New Plymouth’s award-winning promenade.
Head south along the oceanfront from Pioneer Park at Port Taranaki to the city center. Aim for the bright red Wind Wand, a unique local landmark that reaches for the skies. Stroll out onto the small piers that jut out into the ocean from the seawall at regular intervals for superb coastal views.
After leaving the residential and shopping streets of central New Plymouth behind, you’ll come across three excellent swimming beaches. Watch the wave action in winter or wade in for a refreshing swim in summer.
Eat your packed lunch at one of the picnic tables at the East End playground or grab a coffee from a pop-up café with ocean views. You’ll pass the caravan park, pool and playground of Fitzroy before reaching the Waiwhakaiho River mouth.
You have now arrived in the Te Rewa Rewa Reserve. Admire the whale-skeleton design of the suspension bridge with the snow-capped cone of the Taranaki volcano as the backdrop. If you are on your bike, challenge yourself to do a few speedy laps of the Taranaki Cycle Park across the river.
Take the small detour to the Waipu Lagoons and head west for Hickford Park in Bell Block. Many walkers turn back once they reach this small township, some 4 miles (7 kilometers) east of the New Plymouth City center. If you have some energy left, complete the trail to Bell Block Beach through rolling farmlands.
Combine the trail with the Te Henui and Huatoki walkways, two connecting routes, to see the best of New Plymouth on foot or by bicycle. For those who are less able, mobility scooters are available at the Todd Energy Aquatic Centre at the start of the trail. It’s free for half a day if you sign in and leave a bond.