Walk status: Off-lead
The first sign of a proper weekend of sunshine and the allure of an new adventure was strong. Having a nosey at options available to us that were still only a short drive out of town and we discovered thanks to New Plymouth Council website that Marine Park and the surrounding areas are officially off-lead.
The sun was out, the windows were down and George and I cruised out to Waitara. Unfortunately I did not think to check the tide report before leaving so if you want to make the most of this walk, see what the tides up to as its nice to enjoy a beach walk here too. It was high tide 30mins before we got there, so was just starting to head back out.
You can either park at the entrance off Battiscombe Terrace, or at the carpark located on West Beach. In this instance, I parked on the corner of West Beach which gave us a good central point to start the walk from. We headed left initially, walking alongside the beach through a metal gate to walk to the reserve. Walking this stretch of grass leads you to a few beach pathways, however if you stick to the pathway to the left, it leads out to Battiscombe Terrace Reserve, a lovely wide open space between the houses and the beach for a decent run around. This is all off-lead through here, so you can pretty much do the whole walk with no lead restrictions, except for being mindful of the cars and beach access roads you need to cross.
I've also read a few reports of there being issues with dirtbikes/motorbikes riding through the reserve, although that aren't allowed, it doesn't stop them. Today was no exception with someone riding around on a mini bike on the beach tracks where people were walking, and in the reserve when George was trying to have a run around. Just something to be mindful of, especially if your dog is a bit wary of bikes.
You can re-enter the beach pathways at a few points from the reserve, but we headed to the end where there is a small carpark (Battiscombe Terrace entrance). Had the tide been a little further out, we would have walked the beach back at this point, but instead turned around and headed along the beach pathways until we pretty much were back at the gate we started. Just before the gate was a small track leading down to the beach that wasn't too blocked by the copious amounts of driftwood that line this beach, so an easy spot for George to access. The tide in this section of the beach was also far enough out that we could enjoy a play in the sand, and George dipped his toes in the ocean a few times to retrieve some sticks.
Heading off the beach now at almost the far end of the carpark, you're now adjacent to Marine Park. Marine Park is a lovely wide open space with well established trees bordering the edges to provide much needed shade in the Summer months. One end of the Park does have a skate park and kids playground, so best to avoid that area. You can also take dogs along the banks of the river, however there were a few fisherman down there today so we avoided it so as not to tangle their lines.
Although this walk wasn't a particularly long one, its a perfect spot for a bit of beach fun and a roll in the grass. Bring a few doggie mates and there is plenty of space for them to run around and socialise. You can make your stay here as long or as short as you want, and check the tide to really make the most of the beach access.
Location: 8 West Beach, Waitara (or park at the Battiscombe Entrance at 36 Battiscombe Terrace)
Carparking is good here, lots of carparks available at either entrance.
Things to know:
There are toilets at both Marine Park and Battiscombe Terrace Reserve carpark
Kids playground and skate park at Marine Park
Beach access when not high tide
You can check the tides here: http://www.metservice.com/marine/tides/port-taranaki