Information from Venture Taranaki – The Coastal Walkway
The award winning Coastal Walkway is an expansive sea-edge promenade stretching almost the entire length of New Plymouth. Ideal for walking, running, cycling, skating, or simply enjoying the view of the dramatic west coast, the walkway connects popular recreational areas and the city centre to the sea.
In 1997 the planning for the Coastal Walkway began and within 2 years the construction of the then 7km-long walkway from Ngamotu Beach in the east to the Waiwhakaiho River in the west began. It was completed in December 2001, excluding the lower Woolcombe Terrace path, which required cliff strengthening. In 2003, the lower path in front of the cliffs (between the city and the East End Reserve) was constructed and the entire pathway was raised by 2m to a finished height of 7m above sea level.
An important feature of the path along the sea margin is the use of robust materials with strong lines and textures to stand up to and reflect upon the character of the west coast as well as a curved seawall in front of the city centre to provide protection from the waves.
Begin the Coastal Walkway at Ngamotu Beach There is plenty of parking and you can enjoy some time at the beach – a safe swimming beach for the family.
Near to Ngamotu Beach are several points of interest:
In 2004 the new ‘lightning bolt’ bridge over Te Henui Stream opened and 2 years later the pedestrian bridge and viewing platform from Liardet Street opened, creating a safe connection from the city’s business and shopping area. In 2007 the NPDC and Ngati Tawhirikura Hapu signed Te Rewa Rewa Agreement and plans began for Te Rewa Rewa Bridge.
In 2008, at the request of the Hapu, the design of the bridge was turned around so that the span opens towards the mountain, a feature that soon became one of the most iconic in Taranaki. Construction started in 2009 and within a year the bridge was formally opened for public use, along with a 4km extension of the walkway from the Waiwhakaiho River mouth to Hickford Park – bringing the Coastal Walkway’s entire length to 11km.
The 83m long Te Rewa Rewa Bridge is reminiscent of a breaking wave or a whale skeleton. It was designed and built by a consortium led by local company Whitaker Civil Engineering Limited and included Novare Design, CPG and Fitzroy Engineering.
Approaching the central section of the walkway there are more points of interest:
In the late 1980s the Ministry of Defence declared the 26ha Te Rewa Rewa Reserve surplus and in 1995 the NPDC bought the land with the intention to manage it jointly with Ngati Tawhirikura Hapu and use part of it to extend the Coastal Walkway northward. In 2007 the NPDC got a coastal strip to extend the Coastal Walkway to Bell Block, and the Hapu were given the opportunity to develop the rest of the site for the cultural benefit of the Hapu as well as the wider community.
Then in 2008 Land Transport New Zealand announced it would pay $1.88m of the cost to extend the Coastal Walkway, the 4km from Waiwhakaiho to Bell Block, and the rest of the cost would be met by NPDC and the Whitaker Family Trust.
In 2012, the $1.2 million Cycle Park was officially opened at Bell Block’s Hickford Park, marking an end to a 12-year period Taranaki had been without a velodrome. Accessibility was a key design feature of the extension from Fitzroy to Bell Block. It was important to make the Coastal Walkway and Cycleway accessible for all and this was successfully achieved with the use of clever design.
The final points of interest along the Coastal Walkway:
The journey is worth it.
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