Bulls to Ngaio/Wilsons Rd intersection - 7.7km / 2hr
Leaving Bulls, follow the footpath on the southwest side of the highway, crossing the bridge over the Rangitikei River.
At the junction of Tangimoana Rd, cross SH1 to Wightmans Rd. From here the route is well marked on posts with Te Araroa logos and chevrons.
Looking south, Wightmans Rd gives a good view of the Tararua Range from Palmerston North south, and the wind turbines can be seen north and south of the Manawatu Gorge. On the left are views of the meandering Rangitikei River. Passing some of the Ohakea Defence Base outbuildings, continue along Wightmans Rd until you reach the intersection with Hurst Rd. Follow along Hurst Rd and turn left at the intersection of Hurst Rd and Wilsons Rd.
Follow this road for about 2km until you reach the Wilsons Road/Ngaio Rd intersection where the Ohakea Radar Station is located.
Ngaio/Wilsons Rd intersection to Mt Biggs School - 5km / 1-1.5hr
Cross Wilsons Rd heading east along Ngaio Rd to Mt Lees Reserve. Originally part of Ngaio Station, which encompassed the area between Feilding and the Rangitikei River, Mt Lees is now a scenic reserve, but the station provides accommodation, morning and afternoon teas, and caters for functions. There is a basic sheltered campsite with drinking water and toilets. There are two Summer houses [shelters with seating & tables] where walkers can pitch their tent out in front. The larger Summer house has a small kitchen with cold running water, kettle and power. The 2.5km bushwalk around the reserve is a good side trip with some impressive specimen trees. Further information is available at www.mtlees.co.nz
Going east, Ngaio Rd leads onto the Mt Stewart Halcombe Rd. From this intersection to Sandon Rd by Mt Biggs School (approx 1km), the Ruahine Range is visible.
Mt Biggs School to Kowhai Park - 8.3km / 2-3hr
Continue east along Sandon Rd for 1.5km, passing Te Rakehou Rd, veering south east until you reach the Lees Rd intersection.
The trail follows Sandon Rd for a further 3.5km, turning into Ranfurly Rd, which leads into the suburban area of Feilding. On Ranfurly Rd there are views of both the Ruahine and the Tararua Ranges, windfarms on the ranges, and Kapiti Island on a clear day.
At West St, turn right for 300m then left into South St. Continue for 200m to reach Kowhai Park.
(An interesting walk and alternative to the main trail is from the Lees Rd/Sandon Rd intersection. Follow Lees Rd to the Awahuri Rd intersection, turn right for about 1km and then turn left into Kawakawa Rd. Enter Kitchener Park, follow the boardwalk and walkway beside the Makino Stream and alongside Manfeild, crossing Rimu St to the Kowhai Park exit to meet the trail on South St. This alternative is not marked with Te Araroa signage.)
Outside the Kowhai Park entrance, the Feilding town centre is seen with the clock tower prominent, 600m away.
How to get here
Northern Start: Junction of High St and SH3, Bulls
Southern End: Kowhai Park, South St, Feilding
Credit content to NZ Walking Access Commission
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