A new stretch of walkway opened in Morrinsville last week, is proving popular with locals and visitors already. Those braving the winter elements to tread the river walk extension, are being treated not only with a stunning landscape and journey through nature, but a wonderful story of Matariki set up along the way.
The river walk extension, opened last week, can be accessed via Studholme Street, River View Road or Holmwood Park. It’s about 2.5km (40 minutes walk) from the Studholme Street entrance to River View Road and has a suspension bridge over the Waitakaruru Stream. To celebrate Matariki, our libraries staff have installed a story board walk along the new stretch between Studholme Street and the bridge, featuring ‘The promise of Puanga: a story for Matariki’ by Kirsty Wadsworth and illustrated by Munro Te Whata.
“We’re so excited to bring this story to the community as we celebrate Matariki as a public holiday for the first time this year,” said Community Engagement Librarian Heather Furniss. She said it’s a beautiful tale of friendship, family and Māori tradition told by characters Hana and her best friend Puanga, introducing readers to the Puanga star and Matariki sisters. “We’re so glad the creators were happy for their story to be shared in public and we’re hearing good feedback from people of all ages who’ve come across it already”.
The story is set over the 1km section from the Studholme Street/Eynon Road entrance to the suspension bridge. The new stretch of walkway is buggy friendly, with no stairs, although there are steps at the River View Road exit and tree roots in the existing link to Holmwood Park. The section from Studholme Street to the suspension bridge and return is best suited for wheelchairs, provided assistance is available for steeper parts and makes a great walk for young families. Mobility scooters are not recommended. Dogs are welcome on-lead, please remember to take your pooper scooper.
Deputy Mayor and long-time Morrinsville Councillor Neil Goodger said about the new section of walkway, “It’s so good for Morrinsville, many people have worked really hard to create this pathway and we’re really pleased with how it’s turned out”. Neil said he sees people doing the loop on the streets as they go around the block and all they have to look at is cars. “Now they have the option of crossing the stream, hearing native birds instead of road noise and enjoying nature.”
Mayor Ash Tanner said the walk is a great addition for those who live, work or visit Morrinsville. “By linking Holmwood Park to the Rec Ground, it makes it a decent, interesting walk and if you’re lucky, you might catch one of the two trains that travel by on the Waitoa line each day,” said Mayor Ash. “It’s a great asset, I think locals and visitors will really enjoy it.”
The section of walkway that runs through Greenlea Premier Meats, alongside farmland and past Piako Park Lane has been almost 10 years in the making. The pathway is an extension to the existing Holmwood Park to River View Road track, with walkers able to cross Studholme Street and join the river walk track along the Waitakaruru Stream that is part of the Morinsville Recreation Ground. There are plans for seating to be added to the new stretch over the next few months.
A story board walk, featuring ‘The promise of Puanga: a story for Matariki’ by Kirsty Wadsworth and illustrated by Munro Te Whata has also been installed at the Waharoa rest stop, near the tables and toilet block. The Matariki story board walks will be set up until the end of July.
Further info about the new river walk extension:
The new section can be accessed from Studholme Street, River View Road and Holmwood Park only. There is no public access from Piako Park Lane or Allen Street.
Morrinsville Rec Ground entrance (Avenue Road South) to Studholme Street: 1.3 km, 20 minutes
Morrinsville Rec Ground entrance (Avenue Road South) to River View Road: 2.8 km, 1 hour
Morrinsville Rec Ground entrance (Avenue Road South) to Holmwood Park: 3.3 km, 1 hour 10 minutes
Studholme Street to River View Road: 2.5 km, 40 minutes
Studholme Street to Holmwood Park: 3.0 km, 50 minutes
River View Road to Holmwood Park: 1.0 km, 15 minutes
For more information about the walkway, read River walk extension opens.
Images showing the Waharoa story board walk and the river walk extension story board walk, entry points and suspension bridge.
‘The promise of Puanga: a story for Matariki’ by Kirsty Wadsworth and illustrated by Munro Te Whata is currently installed at the Waharoa rest stop, near the picnic tables and toilet block (pictured above) and the river walk extension walkway starting from Studholme Street, Morrinsville (pictured below), until the end of July.
‘The promise of Puanga: a story for Matariki’ by Kirsty Wadsworth and illustrated by Munro Te Whata is currently installed at the river walk extension walkway starting from Studholme Street, Morrinsville (pictured) and at the Waharoa rest stop, near the tables and toilet block, until the end of July.
Matariki story board walk along the new river walk extension, starting at Studholme Street, Morrinsville.
Studholme Street, Morrinsville entrance. Parking on Eynon Street.
Close up of Studholme Street sign. Dogs welcome on-lead, please remember the pooper scooper.
River View Road entrance. At the end of the path, turn left to head to Holmwood Park and turn right to head towards the suspension bridge and Studholme Street.
One part of the walkway between Studholme Street and the suspension bridge.
Suspension bridge over the the Waitakaruru Stream. Located about 1km from the Studholme Street entrance.