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Te Apiti – Manawatu Gorge Track

Time: 3-5 hrs | Distance: 11.2km | Fitness level: moderate

Home of native flora, birdlife, and captures the beauty of the awe-inspiring Te Apiti - Manawatu Gorge.


A must-do walk on your New Zealand journey, Te Apiti – Manawatu Gorge is an icon and the divider of the Manawatu and Hawke’s Bay regions. Nestled between two mountain ranges, there are few places in New Zealand where within 12 minutes from a major city you can enjoy one of our country’s most iconic natural playgrounds. Covered in ancient bush and home to a variety of wildlife, Te Apiti – Manawatu Gorge is steeped in legend and has many stories to tell. Explore the walking tracks and you’ll come face to face with the sculpture of Whatonga, an ancient warrior who stands guard over the forest. 

The main walking track is 11.2km in length and takes you high above the river and Gorge below. Winding your way through native bush, the birdsong of Tui’s, Bellbird’s and more give a beautiful soundtrack to enjoy. Along the route there are five viewpoints that allow you to tower above the trees and glimpse the beauty of the gorge from above. From the river to the railway, the reserves, and Manawatu’s iconic wind farms, you will be able to see all Te Apiti has to offer. 

A shorter 4.1km loop option is available at the Ashhurst end of the track. See the Manawatu Gorge Tawa Loop Walk for more information. 

Please note that car parking at the Upper Gorge Bridge is limited. People should also be made aware that the car park is on the opposite side of the road to the track entrance, but an underpass allows people to get across safely. 

Please note this is a one way track and you will need to: 

  • Place a car at the starting entrance and another at the end exit before heading out, in order to drive back to the entrance upon completion.
  • Or arrange to be dropped off and picked up from the other side. 
  • Or arrange pick up from local shuttle providers through the Palmerston North City i-SITE, freephone 0800 626 292. 

Physical Address

State Highway Three
Manawatu Gorge

Contact us

+64 6 350 1922 
0800 MANAWATU (626 292)

Other Important Info

Car Parking
Picnic Tables
Toilets are available at both ends of the walk and approx. halfway

Please note this information should be used as a guide only. To help ensure your safety we advise you review our safety page and contact the individual provider for up to date information on their compliance with all Health and Safety and regulatory requirements.