I recently had cause to be in Wanganui, and thought I’d have a ride along the banks of the Whanganui River. I started near the Trafalgar Square shops and rode under the Victoria Avenue Bridge. There’s a wooden deck along here, and it is nice to ride along.
Past the paddle steamer wharf near the Moutoa Gardens there is no river path so I got up on the road. Then there is a newish shared path separate to the road. It is nice and wide and is really good to ride along. This is the kind of infrastucture, if widespread, that is going to get people on their bicycles.
I rode up, to the end of that, and it stops at the Dublin Street bridge. It kind of goes under for pedestrians, but not for bikes. So I got up onto Somme Parade and kept on riding up to the cemetery by Papaiti Road. There are glimpses of the river, and there’s a few walking paths down by the river, but there’s no real linked up cycling paths. I turned around and rode back to the railway bridge, and it is possible to get across for pedestrians and bikes.
Then it is possible to ride on the true left side of the river and there are paths through the parks all the way back the Victoria Avenue bridge. This photo is going under the Dublin Street Bridge.
And this is somewhere through Kowhai Park. Don’t take the path down through the bamboo thicket. I stacked it when some bamboo caught my handlebar. I love that moment of clarity just before you hit the ground where you think it’s not going to hurt. It didn’t. None of my 3 stacks have hurt this year, and although I was wearing a helmet each time, I didn’t bang my head at all, so this year a helmet has been completely unnecessary.
The approach to the Victoria Ave bridge:
Then I hadn’t had enough so I did a flyby, and rode along the pedestrian path (with no pedestrians on it, so they didn’t mind) along the true right side of the river in Gonville, riding towards the Heads:
They’re (they being the Horizons Regional Council) are still building the riverside path down towards Castlecliff and the sea.
All up there are enough bike paths along the Whanganui River through Wanganui to make for an interesting 20kms or so of riding. They’re not linked up, there’s a bit of riding on not too busy roads, and some of the paths are debatable for whether a bike should be on them or not. Hey it was something different. I enjoyed it.