Palmerston North City & Manawatu

Te Apiti – Manawatu Gorge

Welcome to New Zealand's most beautiful natural playground. Te Apiti – Manawatu Gorge is a landmark of awe-inspiring legend, geographical magnificence, and cultural wealth.

The scenic divide between the Tararua and Ruahine Ranges that border the Manawatu Region, Te Apiti – Manawatu Gorge is a magnificent geographical structure formed over thousands of years by the Manawatu River. It is the only place in New Zealand where a river begins its journey on the opposite side of the main divide to where it joins the sea.

Come face to face with the sculpture of Whatonga, the ancient Maori Warrior who has been immortalised in a 6m tall sculpture along one of the many walking tracks.

Te Apiti - Manawatu Gorge

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Walking Tracks

Discover lush green forest on the southern side of the Gorge, walking over bridged streams and under a dense tree top canopy.
Manawatu Gorge Track
11.2km, 3-5 hours one way
Manawatu Gorge Tawa Loop
4km, 1-2 hours
Manawatu Gorge Loop Walk
1.5km - 30 mins

306x190_mountain-bikeMountain Biking

Te Apiti - Manawatu is home to two popular mountain bike trails.

Te Ara o Mahurangi is fast-paced downhill ride through 2km of ancient native bush, where as the 41km Windfarm ride has challenging climbs across the Ruahine ranges.

Swimming Spots

Reserves at both ends of the Gorge offer camping and safe swimming spots.

The Woodville Ferry Reserve at Ballance Bridge offers easy access and freedom camping. Cool off in the warm weather, or pack a picnic and soak up the surroundings.


306x190_horseridingHorse Trekking

Experience the magnificence of Te Apiti on horseback with Timeless Horse Treks.

From short treks across farmland and through streams and rivers, to multi-day treks staying overnight in quaint huts and cosy campsites.

Bridge CafeEat

At the eastern side of the Gorge, you'll find the quirky Bridge Cafe serving local cuisine, tasty coffee and mouth-watering milkshakes. In Ashhurst, the local Ashhurst Inn serves up hearty cuisine with a German twist, while Fusion Cafe is renowned for their garden seating. In the Ashhurst Domain, the Wetlands Cafe offers great coffee and home-made cooking in a relaxed, tranquil setting.


Ashhurst Domain Campground provides an ideal base for families with playgrounds, onsite facilities and more.

Freedom camping at the Woodville Ferry Reserve offers a chance to get back to nature, or for those wanting the comforts of home, Ashhurst Inn provides budget friendly accommodation in style.


Outdoor Safety Code:
1. Plan your trip
2. Tell someone
3. Be aware of the weather
4. Know your limits
5. Take sufficient supplies

For more information visit Adventure Smart