New Plymouth Coastal Walkway
After our visit to the Three Sisters we had dinner and a nice evening in the camper. It was only our second night away in this campervan so we were still figuring out a few things, like… The Hubbie’s head gets cold overnight when we accidentally leave the back door semi-open. Ooops!
Next morning we also realised we’d forgotten to pack eggs for breakfast and had milk but no breakfast cereal. Hmmmm you’d never have thought we were once regulars at this campervan thing!
So we set off on the road relatively early to go to a supermarket before we breakfasted.
We drove about an hour to New Plymouth as this was our destination that day anyway. Once we’d bought some nice breakfast and other yummy groceries we needed to then find a nice spot to have brunch.
And we discovered Lake Rotomanu.
The PERFECT spot for brunch and many other activities.
The lake is a very popular area with locals for watersports, plus walks and cycle trails – including the Coastal Walkway which goes right past the scenic spot. There were a good number of families out enjoying the lake; swimming, boating, water skiing – plus lots of visitors setting off on walks or bike rides. There were also several campervans who were enjoying the small number of camping sites available there.
We parked up lakeside for a yummy brunch and then set off to explore the very handy Coastal Walkway on our bikes.
The Coastal Walkway stretches just over 13km from Port Taranaki to Bell Block Beach. We joined it at Te Rewa Rewa Bridge which not only is a very handy bridge crossing a river – funny that – but an extremely popular visitor attraction. The bridge was designed to represent both a breaking wave and a whale skeleton, and if you visit on a cloudless day you will see Mount Taranaki perfectly framed by the structure of the bridge.
I missed that one!
The Coastal Walkway itself is also a popular destination for many. There were LOTS of other cyclists, scooters, walkers, runners, dog walkers, swimmers cutting through to a nearby beach, and up near the port – quite a lot of boats (on trailers – not sailing down the walkway.. silly!). But we’re all a friendly bunch and there’s plenty of space for everyone. Regular signposts remind users to keep left, and cycle slowly through busy areas.
It’s a lovely path to cycle on and before we knew it we were in the centre of New Plymouth, near the Wind Wand. For those that don’t have a clue what that is… a short explanation is that it’s a pretty tall skinny sculpture made of fibreglass that stands vertically but bends in the wind. It is known by fans of kinetic sculptures around the world as one of NZ artist Len Lye‘s kinetic designs.
Apparently, it’s a pretty big deal with locals too. Some folks credit the Wind Wand with giving them good luck, from lotto wins to marriage proposals!
It was a superbly sunny and hot sunny day so we had a couple of handy ginger beers to quench our thirst along the way – isn’t that very “Famous Five go off on a bike ride”?!
We rode right along to the port end of the walkway, near Ngamotu Beach, we cycled down the pier/breakwater (super windy but lovely blue waters to keep watching for fish, seals or penguins) and where it does get a bit busy with parked cars, utes (pickups) and lots of boat trailers so we hopped back on the pathway to head back the way we’d come from.
There’s a lot more along the pathway that I didn’t capture a photo of so until I go again this will have to do.
It’s kind of tricky trying to take a photo while cycling but I’m getting better at not crashing into things while I do it! Or sometimes I just stop. My photos are often better when I do that 🙂
Back with more soon!