Walk status: On-lead
Theres's something about Taranaki when the sun's out that awakens my need for adventure! If you're in New Plymouth, it's likely you don't venture out of your local walk bubble very often, but sometimes its worth it to enjoy new places and this is one that's worth the drive.
Upon reaching Opunake, head down Layard Street and park up when you reach Bowen Cres. Located here is the entrance to the lake, along with some public toilets and a kid's playground down below. It can be a bit confusing at first to work out how to walk around the lake from this spot, so hopefully this helps to ease the confusion!
At the toilets, head straight ahead to a grass path that leads behind a couple of houses. At this point you'll join a gravel road and follow that around to the left. Once you reach the cemetery entrance, head in through there to find the bush track. Then it's easy as you follow the bush track around the lake. At one point it warns you to keep to the yellow marked path as there are houses that border the lake that are private property.
Shortly after the yellow track warning sign, you'll find a small area of beachy white sand that provides the perfect swimming spot for dogs and humans too. We were lucky to have this place to ourselves so George enjoyed a swim off-lead before we headed back along the track on-lead.
Following the track leads you across a small bridge, then up a short driveway hill and then the path continues to the left back through the bush along the lake edge. Eventually you return to the kids playground and carpark where you started.
It's not a long walk, but a very pleasant one and you can add Middleton Bay beach onto the walk too, as we did on this day. It's just down the road and dog friendly all year round. You can find the info on the beach here. You could chose to walk from the lake to Middleton Bay but be aware there is a rather steep hill to reach it that you'll have to climb back up!
The lake walk forms part of the Opunake Walkway that you can also look to include on this walk. Just note, dogs are required to on-lead on all parts of this walk.
This walk was 1.90kms and took us 30mins which included swim time, so easily done in around 20mins or so depending on how fast you walk.
Location: Layard Street, Opunake.
Plenty of parking options here.
Things to know:
There are public toilets here
There is a children's playground located by the lake edge