Note: Use caution when walking the first section of track between SH3 and the river. Beware of the sharp drop-off to the river.
The Tawa Loop Walk branches off the main Manawatu Gorge Track about 500 m into the walk, meandering up and around the southern edge of the reserve. There are some stunning views across Palmerston North from a lookout about halfway around.
The track eventually heads along the NZTA accessway until it meets up with the original Manawatu Gorge Track. At this junction, walkers can view a carving of Whatonga. They can then either turn right to continue on towards the eastern end of the track, go straight ahead to venture down to the ‘Big Slip Lookout’ built by the NZTA, or turn left and head back down the main track to the Ashhurst carpark.
The track starts at the western end of the Manawatu Gorge Track. The Manawatu Gorge Track is located approximately 12 km east of Palmerston North adjacent to State Highway 3.
Access to the track from the west (Palmerston North/Ashhurst end) is from the car park on the left side of the road immediately before the gorge entrance.
Know before you go
Before you go into the outdoors, tell someone your plans and leave a date to raise the alarm if you haven't returned. To do this, use the New Zealand Outdoors Intentions process on the AdventureSmart website. It is endorsed by New Zealand's search and rescue agencies and provides three simple options to tell someone you trust the details about your trip.
See Te Apiti website for more information about the Manawatu Gorge visitor experience.
Source: Department of Conservation