Milnthorpe Park, Scenic Reserve and Arboretum, Parapara Beach, Golden Bay

Overview

Suitable for all ages

If you’re wanting to escape the heat of summer or just looking for a pleasant bush walk as an alternative to sand, the tracks that crisscross Milnthorpe make a pleasant place to be. With numerous entry points along the beach, SH60 and from Nelson Street, you can take your pick for where start your walk. Think about giving the kids the map (available to pick up at most of the entry points along SH60 and Nelson St) and following their lead. For the most part the tracks are flat but because of tree roots and natural obstructions like the odd fallen tree etc, they’re not great for buggies – carrying younger kids in a backpack would be a better option, although even young walkers should be able to manage these tracks as they’re short with lots to look and listen out for.

The forest was first successfully planted with Australian Gumtrees that helped invasive weeds like gorse die off before natives could flourish. Native birds have returned and kids can try to identify what they see using the guide on the back of the map. Can they spot a koura or eel in the waterways as you cross over them?

Milnthorpe Parapara beachYou can come out at the river mouth for a play but be careful of the changing tides and strong currents. You could also come out on Milnthorpe Beach, look for shells, crabs and pipi or build forts out of driftwood. While you walk, you could also get the kids to keep an eye out for sculptures hidden amongst the trees.

There’s a toilet at the bottom of Kendal Street (near the access to the river mouth and inlet). There are seats dotted around the tracks. The closest food and water buying options are in Collingwood, so think about bringing your own supplies.

TOP TIP: The tracks on the Western side of SH60 (up to Mitch’s Lookout) aren’t as well maintained as those on the Eastern side of the highway.

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Contact Information

Web: www.milnthorpe.org.nz

Address: multiple access points but if you’re driving, try the southern most entrance on SH60 just before Milnthorpe Quay or at the bottom of Kendal Street where there are a few car parking spaces.

Walking in Milnthorpe Park is free but you might want to consider making a donation in the boxes at the car parks above. You might also want to recycle your map by replacing it in the map box for others to use when you’ve finished with it.