Tapuae Country Estate - Omata
Walk status: Off-lead (except breeding/nesting season - see bottom of blog for details)
Unless you're lucky enough to win lotto, the only time you'll have the privilege of entering the prestige Tapuae Country Estate is to walk on the outside of the gates to visit the beautiful marine reserve.
This is one of our favourite walks and seems to be a hit with the locals too as its very rare to be the only one down here on a good day. It was a bit wet when we visited to blog it, so surprisingly George and I were all alone this time round and the photos are a bit grey so don't do it justice.
Just a short drive out of New Plymouth, along State Highway 45 (South Road) is Tapuae. Marked by a grand stone entranceway and a turning bay that allows you to wait to turn outside of the main flow of traffic travelling at 100kms. You head down the long driveway and at the bottom head to the small parking area off to the left. The entrance of the walk starts at the end of the small parking area, suitable for approx 8 cars.
Enter the walk at the end of the carpark, following the tall fences that border the estate that keep the resident cattle in. The pathway leading to the beach is grass the whole way, and patches of it can be very muddy in wet weather especially so come prepared to get a little muddy if you visit in the wetter months. The grass pathway gives you views of the houses that have been built in the estate and also the stream you follow down. Its a very picturesque spot, giving occasional glimpses of the beach ahead too.
Heading downhill, the path soon opens up to a wider area of grass that follows the stream and eventually opens up to the beach. Take a stroll along the length of the beach, essentially you can choose to turn around at any point, but the beach goes for quite a distance when the tides out so you can enjoy a decent length of walk down here. Head back the same way you came to arrive back to the parking area.
Note: Between Tapuae Stream and Herekawe Stream is on-lead between August and April due to animal breeding and nesting periods. Any idea where those streams actually are? Me neither, because I can't see anything named that on Google Maps! Unfortunately a hard rule to follow when its not clear where that is. I assume Tapuae Stream is possibly what you follow to get to the beach. There are signs along this walk saying to keep dogs out of the dunes, so I walk this area off-lead on the basis that George is well behaved and follows me on the beach and he doesn't deviate off into the dunes anyway. However if your dog is one to break the rules and could harm the wildlife here, you should put them on a lead when you near the beach area and start seeing the signs.
A local who follows the blog has thankfully given me a heads up that in summer this beach can be a popular spot for naturists, so you have been warned that there may be something a little 'revealing' on the beach if you visit in the warmer months!
Location: Washer Road, Omata
Carparking is limited here, stay clear of the gate that gives residents access to the estate
Things to know:
There are no toilets here
Watch for wildlife and keep your dog away