IntroductionJust 40 minutes drive from Whanganui this is a great walk for families to a viewpoint over Whanganui National Park - there is a picnic table 20 minutes from the start with spectacular views of the Whanganui River.
The Atene Viewpoint Walk travels through both native bush and farmland up an historic roadway (privately owned) that was built by the former Ministry of Works and Development in 1959 during investigations for a Whanganui River hydro-electric power generation scheme.
The viewpoint track ends on a black beech ridge with great views of Whanganui National Park and the cutoff meander of the old Whanganui River bed.
There are stiles to get over fences, a toilet on the walk and, at the end, a seat and viewing area to stop for a rest and bite to eat before walking back down. A picnic table just 20 minutes in gives spectacular views of the Whanganui River.
It takes about an hour to get to the viewpoint, but less to come down.
People wanting a longer day or overnight walk can continue past the viewpoint on the Atene Skyline Track.
- Fires – fires are not permitted in Whanganui National Park.
- Weather conditions – track users are urged to observe the weather conditions and seek advice as wet, slippery conditions may be experienced at times, particularly during winter and early spring.
- Communications – this area is remote with no cell phone coverage. It is recommended that you carry an emergency alert device (e.g. PLB/Spot tracker).
- Dropoffs – there are multiple dropoffs on this track. Care should be taken while passing these.
- Windfalls – there may be windfalls on the track after weather events. Care should be taken while going around the fallen trees.
- Water – during hot dry periods, extra water should be carried. Treat or boil all water before drinking.
- Wasps – wasps are a known hazard and are particularly common from January until May. Carry antihistamine if you are allergic to their stings.