Barrett Domain - Whalers Gate, New Plymouth
Walk status: Off-lead (unless the horses are nearby, or within range of the lagoon)
Barrett Domain is one of our favourite spots, but unfortunately can be a bit of a mud pit over the wetter months! There are lots of tracks you can walk in the Domain, or all of them if you want to do a complete loop as we did on this particular walk.
Park up at Roto Street, enter the main gate, walk about 200m down a gravel track and then head right to start the Cowling Plantation Walk. Note that this driveway leads down to the Riding for the Disabled arena, so please keep your dog on a lead down this part so you don't surprise any horses or riders. The entrance to the Plantation Walk is located at the back of the arena. The tracks through here are particularly muddy as they don't see a lot of sunlight, so be prepared to get your feet dirty. Cross the bridge to the right to stay on the track, and then follow the path to the left to keep walking through the Cowling Plantation until you reach a grassed area.
Keeping to the right of the grassed area, there is a farm gate which will lead you through to another wide gravel track and onto the Rayward Bush Walk. Follow this path until you reach a sty over the fence line. You will now be entering the bush walk, following this to the end. On exiting the bush you will find yourself in an open grassed area. From here you can continue straight ahead towards the lagoon or return to the main entrance by heading left.
Heading straight, towards the Lagoon gives you further options for bush walks. In this instance, upon reaching the lagoon George and I took the pathway furthest to the right. This gives you the option of following Mangaotuku Stream or the Lagoon walk. Although we walked the track that followed the initial Mangaotuku Stream track, I wouldn't recommend it. This track is very narrow and on some parts on a steep piece of hill, that in wet weather can be very slippery. Following the Lagoon bush walk track is considerably easier. Upon reconnecting with the Lagoon bush walk, follow this track until you again reach a large open grassed area.
This leads you out to the main picnic spot on the gravel road that leads through the centre of the domain. Once on the main gravel track, follow this to the right to return back to the Roto Street entrance.
Please be aware that all large grass areas are paddocks for the horses. Identify where the horses are grazing before letting your dog into the paddock areas. If the horses are grazing in these areas, please keep your dog on a lead until you are safely out of their way. Horses can be unpredictable, and if they feel threatened can cause injury to themselves or your dog. During the day on weekdays the RDA use these tracks for riding, so be considerate.
Location: Roto Street, Whalers Gate
Carparking is good here, just keep clear of the gate and ensure other cars have room to get in and out
Things to know:
There are no toilets here
Riding for the Disabled operate here so be considerate of the horses - always have your dog on lead around them