Coastal Walkway Design and History

Coastal Walkway Design 

The Coastal Walkway has been designed to suit the greater coastal landscape. The design uses robust and simple materials with strong lines and textures to stand up to, and reflect upon, the character of the west coast.

The promenade is designed without an edge, to accentuate the sense of being on the edge of the sea, while the curved seawall and location of the path provide protection from the waves. The seawall is also punctured by finger piers, which are designed for people to view and enjoy the open coastline.

The walkway was designed by Richard Bain Landscape Architects and the isthmus group.

Te Rewa Rewa Bridge

The 83m long Te Rewa Rewa bridge is reminiscent of a breaking wave or a whale skeleton. It was designed and built by a consortium led by local company Whitaker Civil Engineering Limited and included Novare Design, CPG and Fitzroy Engineering.

The bridge is named after the adjacent pa site and the name itself is very old. The name references the rewa plant, an elevated flat area and a point of departure for a journey.

Te Rewa Rewa reserve is managed by the Te Rewa Rewa management committee, comprising of trustees from the Ngati Tawhirikiura A Hapu and Council officers, as a partnership to meet the aims and aspirations of both the Hapu and Council.  


Late 1980s: The Ministry of Defence declares the 26ha Te Rewa Rewa Reserve surplus.

June 1995: NPDC buys the land with the intention to manage it jointly with Ngati Tawhirikura hapu and use part of it to extend the Coastal Walkway northward.

1997: Planning for the Coastal Walkway began.

October 1999: Construction of the 7km-long Coastal Walkway from Ngamotu Beach in the east to the Waiwhakaiho River in the west began and was completed in December 2001 (excluding the lower Woolcombe Terrace path).

2003: The Woolcombe Terrace cliffs were strengthened, and the lower path in front of the cliffs (between the city and East End Reserve) was constructed. The pathway was raised by 2m to a finished height of 7m above sea level.

20 December 2003: The walkway was formally opened.

11 June 2004: The new ‘lightning bolt’ bridge over Te Henui Stream opened.

October 2006: Pedestrian bridge and viewing platform from Liardet Street opens.

6 June 2007: NPDC and Ngati Tawhirikura Hapu signed Te Rewa Rewa Agreement. NPDC gets a coastal strip to extend the Coastal Walkway to Bell Block, and the hapu can develop the rest of the site for the cultural benefit of the hapu as well as the wider community.

May 2008:  Land Transport New Zealand announces it will pay $1.88m of the cost to extend the Coastal Walkway the 3km from Waiwhakaiho to Bell Block. The rest of the cost is met by NPDC and the Whitaker Family Trust.

June 2008: At the request of the hapu, the design of the bridge is turned around so that the span opens towards the mountain.

September 2009: Construction of the abutments on both banks of the Waiwhakaiho River begins.

15 February 2010: Te Rewa Rewa Bridge is trucked into place across the Waiwhakaiho River.

15 March 2010: Construction of the pathway begins.

5 June 2010: Te Rewa Rewa Bridge is formally opened for public use. The public can walk the pathway up to The Links accessway.

December 2010: The entire 11km (measured from the Settlers’ Monument on Breakwater Road through to the Smeaton Road entrance at Hickford Park, Bell Block) length of the Coastal Walkway extension is opened
for public use.

December 2014: The extension to Bell Block Beach and Tiromoana Crescent opens bring the walkway length to 13.2km.