Palmerston North

Manawatu Riverside walkway, Victoria Esplanade, Palmerston North, 4410

Type of Course – Out and back

Shoes Required – Road

Things to know

Toilets, drinking fountain within 50m of start/finish line.

Parking is free and there is space for motorhome parking.

Forgot your barcode? Head to the Central Library in The Square to print out.

Nearest showers at Palmerston North City i-Site.

Very low risk of cancellation (flooding risk but not affected parkrun yet)

No permanent marking.

Cafe: The Elm Café, 283 Fitzherbert Ave

Location of start:

The run starts on the footpath near the Fitzherbert Bridge on Fitzherbert Ave, Hokowhitu, Palmerston North.

Getting there by public transport

Number 12 or 14 bus from the Main Street Terminal, last stop before crossing the bridge.

Getting there on foot

From Hardie St Reserve/Centennial Dr carpark: Head towards the river walkway, the start line is right near the Fitzherbert Bridge.

From Victoria Esplanade carpark: Follow the path towards the river walkway.

Getting there by road

Head south on Fitzherbert Ave towards the bridge and either turn right into Victoria Esplanade gardens or turn left to park at Hardie St Reserve or along Centennial Dr.


First run: October 28, 2017

Inaugural attendance: 217

Record attendance: 278 (01/02/2020)

Course records 

Women: Phoebe McKnight 16:56 (13/01/2018)

Men: Luke Scott 14:26 (26/6/2021) 

The Story Behind Palmerston North parkrun…

Kate Southern, event director

It was born out of “Why don’t we have one here?” after I saw people sharing it on social media. 

I’d not run one before but I saw that the parkrun community was quite a strong community in terms of support, encouragement and people getting in behind each other, especially for the beginner runner who had always thought about wanting to build up to a 5km.

I saw that and I wanted to be part of it. Initially it was for selfish reasons. 

I wasn’t planning to set it up but it turns out just about anyone can do it with the right frame of mind behind you.  

It came to be that I’d contacted parkrun NZ at the same time that another woman had contacted them. We got put in touch with each other and formed a small committee.

We got it off the ground within six months from the initial contact and our inaugural event was in October 2017.

It probably began like a lot of others, we thought our riverpath would be a perfect spot for a parkrun.

We’re the same as other parkruns I’m sure in that we’ve had people who come along to walk and then they start to jog some and then run the whole way. Then they start entering things like 10km events.

It’s a good, safe place for people to begin that journey. There’s excitement about having people around you, too.

I think our course is quite a fast one. We’ve held the New Zealand parkrun record [Luke Scott’s 14:53 was set on March 14 but broken in October at Hagley]. It’s a good one to PB on as it’s fast, flat and asphalt all the way.

The river is beautiful any time of the year, I think as locals we take it for granted but when you put on tourist eyes it’s really pretty.

While in Palmerston North…

Heaps of other walking tracks, including the Manawatu Gorge

National Rugby Museum

Te Apiti Windfarm lookout

Palmerston North Esplanade Scenic Train

Arapuke Mountain Bike Trails

He Ara Kotahi bridge