New Zealand Walk: Te Henui Loop walking track
On the opposite side of the award winning New Plymouth Te Henui River walk and cycleway (Walking Magazine September 2017) on the other side of the river there is a loop track not that well known probably only by locals.
It is totally different from its sister track which is flat and an easy grade whereas this one is so very different and interesting with its ever changing scenery and interesting landmarks it is also more challenging.
The easiest way to start this walk is from the rear of the old Te Henui Cemetery at the top of a hill that is amongst a stand of pine trees. At the bottom of the hill there is an arrowed signpost with Te Henui Walkway pointing to the way up.
At the top of the hill where you can have a view right over the lovely old cemetery you will see a style over a fence leading to a track across a paddock sometimes with sheep in it.
On the right of the paddock there are large buildings.
Once over the style follow the track to the end of the paddock where you will go through several old farm gates, check that they are closed behind you.
Follow the track up a slight graded hill and carry on until you reach some houses on either side of the track exiting onto a road (end of a cul de sac) beside the Timandra Motel, cross the road and enter the track on the other side (signposted) into the bush.
This is where you will descend down (signposted with Te Henui) the bank which has steps and will take you to the bottom and beside the Te Henui River. Turn right and follow the track alongside the river. Here the area changes to bush and an uneven path.
Between the gaps in the bush you will
be able to view parts of the Te Henui Walk and Cycle Track on the other side of the river.
There are several signposts along the way taking you out onto nearby streets, ignore these and keep heading straight ahead do not divert from the main track.
Stick to the Te Henui signs and eventually one signed Cumberland Street. This is where you need to exit unless you wish to turn back the way you started out (a lot of climbing back up the bank).
Parts of the track by the river are narrow in places, hilly boggy in places if wet and rather uneven maybe not suitable for anyone that is not confident on rough ground. To do this track you need sturdy walking shoes.
When you exit onto Cumberland Street over the style onto the footpath you can turn left, walk over the road bridge turn left again and continue back along the main Te Henui Walkway and over two bridges and a footbridge. This will eventually take you past two signed entrances on your left to the cemetery which is above the walkway behind the trees.
Keeping on the main walkway you will finish up at the East End Car Park.
You can begin the walk from the East End Car Park at the mouth of the Te Henui River where it flows into the sea.
The beginning of the main Te Henui walkway is by the footbridge. Follow this walkway until you see a sign pointing right to the cemetery.
Once up at the top of the hill and in the cemetery turn left, to stroll to the rear where you will start your walk to the loop track.
You can also park in the cemetery in several different areas. If you decide to park there and have returned along the main Te Henui Walkway you will take one of the two afore mentioned entranc- es to get back to your vehicle. Enjoy the beautiful garden cemetery while there.
The entrance to the cemetery for vehicles is on the corner of Watson and Lemon Street.
The access to the East End Car Park is from Nobs Line off Devon Street, Strandon. The time for the round walk is two to three hours depending on your pace.
The walk is dog friendly. If there are sheep in the paddock please put your dogs on a leash and under control. Both Te Henui walks are dog friendly. The Loop Walk is not suitable for bikes.
Above left: Hill at rear of cemetery leading up to the walk. Above right and opposite page above left: The end of the first part of the walk exits alongside the motel on the left. Cross the road and enter the second part by the sign. Below left: Down the steps to the river and bush walk. Below right: Follow the river.
Above right: Climb the style and follow the track to the gate. Right: The track through grass. Below right: The two farm gates to go through.