There are three different tracks you can take in Barrett Domain. They can be enjoyed individually or linked to form a longer walk.
The main entrance to Barrett Domain can be found by turning off Tukapa St onto Wallath Rd and taking the first left onto Roto St. Parking is at the gates. Along the way are signposts directing you to the different tracks you can take. Other entrance points are off Davies Rd and Alba St.
As you enter the domain from Roto St, walk about 200m down a gravel track, on your right you will find the start of the Cowling Plantation walk. You will notice a cemented stone seat. On 17 February 1966 this seat was unveiled as a memorial to Mr Fred Cowling. These majestic kauri trees he planted are now more than 50 years old and provide a tranquil area in which to walk.
This track continues on to Alba St and exits the domain, or you can turn and go over the bridge and walk through the trees until you come to a grassed area.
At this point you can continue on to the Rayward Bush Walk to your right or return to the main track.
This short bush walk begins by entering through the main entrance off Roto St. Walk down the gravel track past the Cowling Plantation sign until you come to the Rayward Bush Walk sign on your right.
Walk over a grassed area, keeping a small pond on your left. Follow a grassed track up a small hill and enter the bush near the top of the sign.
Return to topThis area was originally fenced off to prevent browsing stock. This has allowed for the natural regeneration of the forest plants which include tawa and kohe kohe.
On exiting the bush you will find yourself in an open grassed area. From here you can continue on to your right towards the lagoon or return to the main entrance. To get to the main track walk across the paddock towards the entrance to the lagoon and then follow a track around to the left towards a gate.
This walk can be entered via the Davies Rd entrance or from the main entrance off Roto St.
From Roto St, continue down the gravel track until you come to an open grassed area. To your left is the beginning of the Lagoon Bush Walk.
This walk follows the Mangaotuku Stream, which runs through the domain.The bush here has more density than that of Rayward Bush due to a greater amount of light penetrating through to the bush floor. After reaching the bridge follow the lower track that runs alongside the Mangaotuku Stream. About 500m along you will come to a T junction.
At the T junction you can either go down to a small gully the Mangaotuku Steam has carved out (note this is a dead end track), or continue up the hill to your right towards the lagoon.
At the top of the hill are three tracks. The track on your right will take you to the Rayward Bush Walk. The other two tracks will take you to Barrett Lagoon.
Returning from the lagoon you can go via the bush again or follow the grass strip back towards a gate.
From here you can enter the Rayward Bush track or return to the main entrance past the Sir Victor Davies memorial planting.Return to top
Once named Rotokare, which means rippling waters, Barrett Domain originally belonged to a Maori chief who lived at Kororako Pa, which is at the northern end of the lagoon. The land was gifted to Dickey Barrett when he married the chief’s daughter Rawinea in 1828.
Barrett died on 23 February 1847 and his property was passed on to his family. In the early 1900s Mr Honeyfield (a descendent) donated the land as a reserve to the people of New Plymouth.
Another benefactor was Fred Cowling. He planted 2ha of his land in kauri trees in the early 1940s and gifted it to the people of New Plymouth. Fred Cowling was very passionate about trees and his legacy is now one of the largest plantations of kauri outside the natural distribution.
The Sir Victor Davies memorial plantings can also be found in Barrett Domain. This area commemorates his years of service and his association with the local nursery industry.
Barrett Domain is a popular wildlife refuge. This protected area provides a perfect habitat for many of our native birds.
The lagoon itself is one of the few survivors of the draining of several such lagoons that characterised the landscape around New Plymouth prior to European settlement.
An area of bush between Barrett Lagoon and the Mangaotuku Stream contains a healthy semi-coastal forest remnant. This area not only survived the clearing of land by early settlers but also the Great Fire of Upper Westown in March 1888, which scorched 1,012ha of land.We endorse smokefree parks, playgrounds, sport grounds and walkways.
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