The Council manages two main trail areas for horse rider recreation:
Clive-Tukituki Horse Trail
Awatoto-Puketapu Horse Trail
Another bridle trail is alongside the Tukituki Trail in Central Hawke's Bay but is maintained by the local horse-riders group.
Like the Cycle Trails, the horse trails are set apart, safe and scenic places for horse rider use. These two types of trail are often near each other. In some places they intersect. Please show discretion, caution, courtesy and share with care – for the ongoing use for all trail users.
Look for the Hawke's Bay Regional Parks and Open Spaces brochure at i-sites and other visitor centres.
Clive-Tukituki Horse Trail
This horse trail runs from Clive, along ‘Muddy Creek’ estuary to the Tukituki River as far as River Road. There’s a mix of riverside trails by stopbanks with coastal views and rural outlook.
Look for the Horse Trail signs. See below for the route, map and parking info, so you know where to go.
- North – Clive
- Main Road, Clive (@14km to River Road)
- Parking here may be shared with boaties, jetskis, campervans, cyclists and pedestrians (mainly weekend)
Very public area - we recommend horse poo is removed along here
- Middle – Richmond
- Richmond Road, sea end (4km to Clive, 10km to River Road)
- Plenty of parking
- South – River Road, Havelock North
- River Road, reserve end (14km to Clive)
- Plenty of parking.
Gate/ Spar Setup
There is a spar for those who can jump and a locked gate next to it. Keys are available.
the Regional Council requires keyholders to sign a user register (contact Vince Byrne on 06 845 9230).
- Go along by Clive River, below the lime-sand cycle trail on the mown grass track. Many people/dogs use this area. We advocate mutually respectful use at all times.
- About 1km from Clive entrance, you can cross the stream to get to the sea – rideable at low tide – a few metres of sand) and a popular swimming hole.
- OR continue below the lime-sand cycle trail at the base of the stopbank. At a sharp S-bend the trail is very narrow. If unsure, lime-sand trail use is permitted here if no cyclists or pedestrians are coming – take care on the blind corner.
- Continue straight ahead and through the barrier gateway which should be open or you can pass beside – from here head toward the sea (you won’t be next to the lime-sand cycle trail for a while) and then ride down the middle, formed trail, through the wildlife-bird reserve and past the Richmond Road carpark area.
- Richmond road end is a reserve. Dog control is advised - there are many eggs and chicks in the area during spring.
- Arriving at double gates/spars, cross over a culvert and continue beside the lime-sand cycle trail.
- Horses are permitted on the lime-sand cycle trail (approx 150m) due to limited space. Council is considering a separate horse path to separate trail users. Riders must walk horses on the lime-sand cycle trail and pull to the side - if possible - for pedestrians/ cyclists to pass.
- Horse trail resumes after the Bell Road entrance and continues on grass beside the lime-sand cycle trail.
- Riders are near the entrance into the Tukituki River.
- From here, the lime-sand cycle trail goes downhill. Riders stay to Left of the lime-sand cycle trail. Take care at the blind corner. Both trails continue through a gateway and back to the stopbank crest.
- After the gate, go left to leave the stopbank and lime-sand cycle trail. Ride in the grass area. Be aware of electric tapes then transition to a gravel road beside the river.
- Continue under Black Bridge and carry on in beside the river to River Road. Gates and spars are evident. There are several natural cross-country jumps and a suitable river swimming area near River Road carpark.
NOTE: Horses may not use the trail top on the stopbank (even if cattle are present there). The river is grazed constantly. Please leave gates/ tapes as you find them.
Be alert to potholes and river debris – this is a dynamic river area.
Awatoto - Puketapu Pub Horse Trail
This horse trail runs from Awatoto to Puketapu Pub (main beside Tutaekuri River). 16km ride with a mix of riverside trails and a short on-road section. The trail is below stopbanks and beside the river with a rural outlook.
See below for the route, map and parking info, so you know where to go.
- off Waitangi Road, Awatoto – horse float parking (16km to Puketapu Pub)
- Turn into Waitangi Road off the main road, over rail line about 100m.
Parking: follow signposted access down the side of the fertiliser works.
- Guppy Road entrance (7km to Awatoto, 9km to Puketapu Pub)
- Plenty of parking
- There is parking, but no float parking identified at the Puketapu End
- Use horse gate at end of carpark area at Awatoto, proceed through gate and turn right to briefly follow the lime-sand cycle trail to the next horse gate. Be alert to cyclists/pedestrians before proceeding. Once through the second gate turn left to ride off the stopbank and on the grassland area between the river and stopbank.
- Continue to Brookfield’s Bridge in this area.
NOTE: popular with the Model Airplane club on weekends, white baiters and hunters during respective seasons. Duck shooting season is May-June.
- Continue under Brookfield’s bridge to the horse gate and proceed below stopbank.
NOTE: this section from Brookfield’s to Guppy Road is also popular with motorbikes/ vehicles.
- From the Expressway Bridge proceed to Guppy Road carpark and through the gate.
NOTE: Guppy Road to Waiohiki-Otatara Pa Bridge is a popular dog walking area.
Follow clearly marked dirt trails through the lower meadow area.
- Cross under the Waiohiki/Otatara Pa bridge with caution – due to narrowness and cycle trail. Keep to side of trail until the track broadens near the transfer station, with a wide area below the stopbank to follow up a stream.
- Cross the stream. Another short section of limited shared space. Past here, it widens in the river margin. At the edge of the farm/ fence, proceed carefully to the stopbank/ limesand cycle trail and briefly share with cycle trail users, to a final gateway on your right.
- This section returns to the road. Turn left towards Puketapu Pub.
TIP: If doing this ride, contact Mary at Puketapu Pub 06 844 7206 in advance, regarding availability of the paddock to tether horses, so you can enjoy a pub lunch.
Discretion, Caution, Courtesy and Share with Care
- Enjoy the trail – watch for fences, electric ‘hotwires’ and uneven surfaces
- Please respect the horse trail – only use the lime-sand cycle trail where necessary
- Where possible, keep clear or give way to cyclists and walkers
- Clear poo from gravel parking areas shared with other users
- Dangerous or suspicious behaviour? Contact Napier Police 06 831 0700
- Dumped rubbish or cars? Call the Pollution Hotline 0800 108 838
- River berm areas are open spaces for public recreation by motor cyclists, walkers, cyclists, paint ball clubs, fishermen and hunters to name a few.
Registration is required. Gate Keys - $10.00 - from Hawke's Bay Regional Council
Contact Vince Byrne on 06 845 9230 for more information.