Castle Cliff Beach, Whanganui

Hey! During January, and the start of February we stayed in Whanganui. We had a lot of free time on our hands, so Diego and I got to explore many different walks and areas that Whanganui had to offer us. My stand out favourite, and definitely the dogs favourite was Castle Cliff Beach. This was only a ten minute drive from the house we were staying at, and offered us an amazing area to exercise the dogs in the evenings. It's one of those great walks that you can chose the length, time and effort that you have to put into it, and still makes sure the dogs get a fantastic, tiring walk.

Dogs are allowed on most of the beach, the only part that is off limits to them is straight in front of the main car parking area. This is the area where the life guards are on duty, and therefore a lot more people and swimmers. Along the rest of the beach it is generally quite deserted, apart from a couple of lone couples walking the length. During our stay in Whanganui, we visited this beach a lot, and never really felt like the beach was overly busy. Of course, we went in the evenings, but still we only ever encountered lone couples wandering the beach, or a couple of dogs here and there.

The great thing about this beach is that there isn't a road close by, so for dogs that like to really run (Chico I am looking at you) it means you can freely let them do this without worry that they may end up on the road. There is a worry of driftwood, which this beach contains a lot of up along the sand dunes, so you will have to keep an eye out for any injuries if your dog is charging through that. If your dog likes to chase sticks though, all that driftwood ends up as a good thing as there will be endless sticks to play with.

I couldn't find any maps showing the length of the beach, however it would take us approximately 30-45 minutes to walk the length of the beach and back. This was without stops or taking in the sights. The time obviously lengthened when we stopped to playing fetch with Diego or to watch Chico bound crazily along the shoreline. As I said above, this is one of those walks where you can truly decide how much time and effort you want to spend here. If you want minimal effort, and time you can pick up a piece of driftwood and play fetch. For a longer walk you can do the length and back like we did.

The beach is also made up of black sand, which is amazing to look at, but can become incredibly hot during the Summer months. This made is impossible to walk the dogs during the day. If you are visiting the beach on hotter days go early morning or late evening, otherwise during colder days and Winter you should be fine to walk your dogs during the day. Always check the sand first by holding the back of your hand flat onto the sand for five to ten seconds. If you can't do that, it is too hot for your dogs paws.

Something to be aware of, although I am not sure how big of a problem it is, is that on our last walk there was a lot of washed up Bluebottle Jellyfish. We visited this beach every couple of days for the month that we were living up in Whanganui, however it was only on the last visit that we saw these Jellyfish. Not sure if this is a reoccurring problem, or if it just happened to be a once off thing.

I definitely recommend this beach to anyone visiting Whanganui or even just passing through. I would love to hear from other people that have visited this beach, and what your thoughts were. Leave me a comment below :)


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