Last Updated: 15th Apr 2024


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Tawa Loop - Manawatu Gorge

Palmerston North, Manawatu - Wanganui

Submitted by Tim Carpenter

Last Updated: 15th Apr 2024


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Grunt Factor: 8 ?

Gnarl Factor: 50 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible


Very hilly

Native bush

Run Makeup


Moderate Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +13.4%

Average Downhill Gradient: -15.3%


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Estimated Times to Run







From the car park head along the track next to the main road, and then cross under the road at the bridge.
Follow the track around until the junction and choose a direction (loop can be done both ways).
Follow the track to the top and follow signs to complete the downhill loop.

To extend, instead of starting down, continue straight up the track and you can run through to the Woodville end of the gorge, or complete laps of the loop for hill reps.

There is also the lookout down to the 'Big Slip'.

At the top of the loop there is a large metal Maori statue with history of the area.

Great piece of native bush, good for spotting Kereru

If you know of any public toilets near the trail start or on the route, please login and then let us know so we can update this section.

Plenty of parking is available

17 km

18 minutes




Generally good.

Windproof jacket, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map

Take your own

Normal exposure to the elements

Trail Legend

Jacki Ramson

Jacki Ramson

has completed Tawa Loop - Manawatu Gorge 7 times in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

Awesome everyday run, easily run to and from Ashhurst. Can get busy during weekends and public holidays but if you go early enough you can miss the crowds. A firm fave for me.

Sam Howard

May 12, 2021

We did this one a few years back, combining two outdoors fun pursuits with one- geocaching and trails

Tony Sharpe

March 21, 2020

Great little loop for the whole family

Wendy Watts

January 17, 2020

The Gorge Track is fantastic rain or shine as it's entirely bush clad and sheltered. The Tawa Loop is great if you are pushed for time - personally I prefer clockwise as its consistently uphill to the "Statue", then downhill is broken up by a couple of rises. Can always carry on back up from the junction, about 4 min from the carpark, good for the head space (and leg pain) to go from downhill straight back to hills! For a 45 min 10km runner it's approx 14-16 min to the Statue and 10-12 min back to the carpark

Rob Dabb

January 4, 2020

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