Beginning at the up-river end, the track climbs steeply from the River Road to a height of 260 m through fine lowland forest. Following an old, gently graded roadline for around 3 km the track follows the ridgeline to a clearing which marks the track's halfway point. A campsite with drinking water, a shelter and a toilet is available here.
Shortly beyond this point is the Taumata Trig, the highest point of the track at 572 m. The track then winds around the edge of sandstone bluffs to reach Taupiri Trig before descending steeply back to the River Road.
Note that this track is not a complete loop. It's an extra 2 km walk along the road to return to the carpark.
Take your family on a Kiwi Guardians adventure. Kiwi Guardians is a free, fun and easy way for 6-10 year olds to get to know this special place - grab a map, go and explore, and earn a reward! More about Kiwi Guardians
The two entrances to this almost circular track begin on the Whanganui River Road, 36 km from Whanganui. Both entrances to the track are less than 2 km apart.
The focus throughout the walk is Puketapu hill. Many hundreds of years ago the hill stood at the end of a long, narrow-necked peninsula. The river once flowed in an almost complete circle around Puketapu but after years of erosion the river broke through the neck, forcing a more direct route to the sea and cutting off the meander.
Spectacular views from vantage points along the track include the cut-off meander, the Whanganui River, Mt Ruapehu, Mt Taranaki/Egmont, the Tasman Sea, and the Whanganui River's tributary valleys.
Field Trip | Levels: 3-4: The Atene Tracks in Whanganui National Park offer a number of great walking experiences. Find out about the plants and animals in the area along the way.
These interesting short and overnight walks are great options for getting outdoors with children.
Walk around the bend! Hundreds of years ago Puketapu Hill stood at the end of a long narrow-necked peninsula, forcing the river to flow in almost a complete circle around it. Get your boots on and check it out!