Anzac Park: Te Motu o Poutoa

This clifftop reserve is dedicated as a memorial to fallen soldiers who came from the local area. It offers great views across the city as well as a walking track. The site is of great significance to Rangitāne, recognised in its name: The place of Poutoa.

Photo shows two young women looking out at the splendid view of the river from the top of the steps at Anzac Park.

The view over the river from Anzac Park.

The reserve is a remnant of the original bush that early European settlers named the "Ninety Mile Bush" – so called because it extended for ninety miles from lower Wairarapa to North of this park. Visitors will get an impression of what these settlers faced when they arrived from Denmark, Sweden and Norway – an almost impenetrable forest.

History of Te Motu o Poutoa

Poutoa was an ancestor of Rangitāne. His descendants include Paewai, Te Awe Awe, Te Rangiotu and other families.

The land was purchased from Kairanga County Council as Anzac Park in 1916. It is assumed that at some point prior to this date, the Patriotic Society renamed the park.

From 1962-63, the site changed significantly. A ridge was lowered 20 metres to form the plateau that exists today and in 1964-65, a lookout station, car park and picnic spots were formed. The Palmerston North Astronomical Society observatory was built in 1971.

Te Motu o Poutoa will be co-managed by Council and Rangitāne as partners following the adoption of the Kawenata in Relation to Te Motu o Poutoa.

Te Arapiki a Tane: The stairway of Tane

Photo shows people climbing steep steps zigzagging up a hillside on the bank of the Manawatū River.

When you want to combine fitness, the great outdoors and spectacular views, then Te Arapiki a Tane should be your destination. Close to 600 steps take you down the cliffside reserve to the Manawatū River on a steep and challenging trail.

Access is from Te Motu o Poutoa and off Vaucluse Heights, with the steps linking to other river network pathways, including He Ara Kotahi.

Used for



Paths, carpark

Dog access

On leash throughout. 

Road access hours

The road barrier opens at 7am and closes at 6pm every day. 

Note: The walking track to the top of the reserve is accessible all the time.


Cliff Road, Palmerston North

Get directions