Ashhurst Domain Pathways

If you're after some light cardio, head out to the Ashhurst Domain and choose from a range of easy to moderate walks.

Some guide you through native bush, while others offer revealing views overlooking conservation wetlands, out to the wind farm, or alongside the Manawatū River. You can even go down to the river's edge for a paddle. The world's your oyster here at the Domain!

We’re encouraging everyone to be safe around our awa (river) this summer.

Water Safety NZ says anyone near our awa (river) should follow these handy tips to keep them and their whanāu safe this summer:

Wait 72 hours after rainfall before entering the river

Rivers are changeable and unpredictable – particularly after heavy rainfall. Riverbanks can also become unstable during and after heavy rain.

Check weather forecasts including rainfall in the hills above that could fill the streams and rivers where you are.

Look before you leap – check for hazards

Upstream, downstream and where you’re swimming. Rivers contain hidden dangers and swimming holes can change depths from summer to summer.

Always enter feet first and establish an exit point before you enter.

Keep looking

  • Can you see the bottom?
  • Is it deep enough for jumping or diving?
  • Does the riverbed drop away close to the edge?
  • Could you handle the current if you got swept away?

A safe rescue is a land-based rescue

Dial 111 immediately if you see anyone in danger, so emergency services can get there as soon as possible.

If someone is being swept downstream, the only safe rescue is a land-based rescue. Do not enter the river after them. It is unlikely you will be able to reach them to help them and you may need to be rescued yourself.

  • Follow the person in trouble down the riverbank.
  • Find a safe place where the person may be able to swim towards the bank.
  • Use an object like a tree branch to reach out over the river.
  • Encourage the person in trouble to grab the branch or paddle and hang on.
  • Pull them to the riverbank and help them out.

If you cannot rescue the person safely from the bank:

  • Encourage the person to turn on their back and float feet first down the river
  • If practical, throw the person a buoyant object like a bucket, chilly bin or ball that they can hang onto and use to keep themselves afloat. 

Learn more about how to keep you and your whanau safe in, on and around the water

Download the translated posters

These are translated posters of the water safety information.

They are available in different languages. Download and share them with your friends.

English(PDF, 480KB)  Burmese(PDF, 541KB) Dari(PDF, 528KB) Dzongkha(PDF, 535KB) Karen(PDF, 531KB)

Photo shows mother and child walking hand in hand through the bush in the Domain.  

The upper circuit offers two shorter, wheelchair-friendly walks, while the lower loop and bushwalks are more challenging.


  • Full loop: 3.5km
  • Upper circuit (large): 1.88km
  • Upper circuit (small): 1.4km
  • Domain bush loop: 1.2km

Contour: A flat terrace area with moderate to steep slopes leading to the riverside

Surface: Limestone, gravel, grass, forest floor


Walkways shown in red.

Access points: Access to Ashhurst Domain is via the Cambridge Avenue carpark on SH3 or from the layby beside the SH3 Manawatū River bridge. 

Facilities: Carparks, toilets, picnic tables, seating, playground, BBQ

Special attractions: Views of wetlands, windfarms, Te Apiti/Manawatū Gorge, Te Ahu a Turanga Highway. Historic cemetery, sportsfields, open parkland, river access, native bush and campground.


Dogs and horses welcome

Some parts of the Domain are off-leash while others require your dog to be on a lead. Please observe the signs, pick up after your dog, and ensure they are under control at all times.

The upper circuit walkway is a dog exercise area, where you can walk your dog off-leash. Your dog must be on-leash on the lower loop.