Landowners on the south Whanganui coast are still in negotiation over public access for Te Araroa, New Zealand's long trail.

The trail goes from Cape Reinga to Bluff, and passes through Whanganui. At present the route south is along SH3 and then Turakina Beach Rd. The SH3 portion is "hideous" for walkers, Te Araroa CEO Rob Wakelin said.

"We will not ever stop trying to solve that."

The alternative is a trail along the coast from South Beach to Koitiata, with the Whangaehu and Turakina rivers in the way. Both need pedestrian bridges, but they will not be built until access along that whole section of trail has been secured.

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Serious negotiation with coastal landowners has been going on for two or three years, Mr Wakelin said. He would not say who they are, because negotiation could be "sensitive" and there were "a few sticking points".

But he said lengthy negotiation for trail access is not unusual. One Northland section has been in negotiation for nine years, with no resolution yet.