Ninja Stealth Urban TrailBeginner
Submitted by Rob Edkins
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Undulating, small hills only
Native bushPlantation/exotic forestCoastalRiverside
The obvious place to look for trails in New Plymouth is to the South, where not too far away there are some significantly pointy bits of rock. Taranaki itself is a solid 2500m of unremitting 'up' and the Pouakai range next to it is pretty much all over 1000m. Even the Kaitake's out on the coast have some serious gnarl in them.
Sometimes though, when the mountain hides in freezing clag or for other reasons you can't get out to the ranges I've found it's possible to get in a solid trail run with minimal road close to the center of town.
The run starts on the coastal walkway at the mouth of the Te Henui stream so the best place to park is East End, past the East End Surf club to the car park at the end of the road.
The river mouth is just beyond the car park, where the New Plymouth Coastal Walkway crosses over a foot bridge. The Te Henui path starts just to the left of the Eastern end of the bridge and heads inland. After a hundred metres or so cross over the small bridge toward the bowls and croquet lawns, then head left along the right bank of the stream. This part of the run is fairly tame, with formed paths and is popular with bikes, so keep an eye/ear out for two wheeled traffic.
The path winds along the river bank under a couple of roads and a railway bridge then begins a gradual climb for the next 2-3 km. About 1.5k in there is an option for a side trip up to the Pukewaranga Pa site (if you fancy a 200m vertical hill challenge). After a bit you'll come to a fancy concrete bridge that crosses over the river to your right. Ignore this and keep to the left, following the original riverbank path through a gnarly bit that is mercifully free of cyclists. You'll come out a bit further upstream where the main path crosses back over another bridge, having basically just cut out an S-bend in the river.
From here just keep following the path upstream until you get to the Cumberland Street road bridge. Go to the right under the bridge and up to the footpath on the other side then go left across the bridge. The track starts again just across the bridge on your left. Keep going upstream, where it gets progressively more rugged and eventually you'll get to a bit where there is a climb straight up a steep bank to Junction Rd. Follow the path around to the left instead as it doubles back around and up a series of steps to Durham Ave. This is the only real road section (sorry about that!) but it's only about 100m down to Junction Street where you turn right and follow it round to Tarahua street and over to Coronation Ave by Highlands Intermediate about 1km away. Cross over and you'll find a path down behind the tennis court that leads into the top of Pukeura Park.
Now there's a fun bit, running through the trees down through the park, which is actually relatively wild up the top here. Keep to the right of the stage at the Brooklands bowl and head on past the lily pond and then over the Poets Bridge, to run down the left side of the boat lake, past the playground to the Victoria Street entrance.
Go down and across Carrington Rd and take Redcoat Lane down to the Huatoki Stream Walkway. Follow this to the left all the way up to Huatoki Domain (about 3km). There's a couple of places where you do a couple of short doglegs on roads, just keep an eye out for the orange posts marking the walkway. At the far end of the Huatoki Domain across the road is Tupari Domain which has a cool bush circuit of about 2km that is as gnarly as anything in the Waitaks or Hunuas. Do a lap of this track and then head all the way back down the Huatoki walkway to town and the coastal walkway by the Wind Wand. From here it's about 1.5km back around the coast to the start at the Te Henui bridge.
So there you go. 20km, over 400m of elevation, less than 2km of road and never more than about 5km from the middle of town. Not bad eh?
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Features of interest
Sea coast, Historical sites.
Make Up of Run
Technical Single Track: 5%
Moderate Single Track: 10%
Easy Single Track: 80%
Sealed Road: 5%
Public carpark at the end of East End Reserve, by Te Henui River Mouth
From central New Plymouth head east on Devon Street East towards Fitzroy.
Just before Strandon shops, turn left down Nobs Line and follow it down to East End reserve.
At the bottom of the hill turn left and go the car park at the end of the road, past East End Surf Club
Keep an eye out for the orange posts marking the walkways.
Short-sleeved thermal top, Windproof jacket, Cellphone, Map, Headtorch and spare batteries.
Drinking fountains in Pukekura park and on Coastal walkway.
Tupari domain can be muddy in heavy rain.
Post run indulgence
Cafe Green Door
17 Brougham St, New Plymouth 4310
Great food, lots of options. Balcony by Huatoki stream
Petit Paris Patisserie
34 Currie Street New Plymouth (Opposite post office)
French Boulanger - need I say more?
See other runs nearby:
Pouakai Hut and Tarns
Holly Hutt Track
Up The Stony
Mangorei to North Egmont
Meeting of the Waters
NP Urban Trail Run
Rain Forest Romp at Pukeiti
Taranaki RTM with a Twist