The serene, green heart of the North Island. Explore gardens, gorges, dune lakes, beaches and the wild Whanganui River which dominates the region as it flows through the Whanganui National Park to lowland farms and the historic city of Wanganui on the west coast.
As one of the most artistic of all New Zealand destinations, you can feel a great sense of cultural focus in the area. There are several galleries and museums you can visit during your stay here.
Wanganui city offers an abundance of well-preserved historic buildings and the main street is recognised as one of New Zealand's most attractive. Gaslights, wrought iron garden seats, palm and plane trees, and wide paved footpaths all contribute to a very elegant heritage atmosphere. The area is also well known for its thriving artistic community.
Whanganui or Wanganui? - both spellings are correct!
MUST SEE & DO
- Ride Wanganui's historic Durie Hill elevator. Built in 1919, it is one of only two earth-bound elevators in the world
- Climb the Memorial Tower on Durie Hill. Built from fossilised shell rock it offers sweeping views of the city, inland volcanic mountains and the Tasman Sea
- Enjoy Wanganui's vibrant arts scene, which includes fine arts, graphic design, glass blowing and fashion
- Look out for the Ward Observatory in Wanganui. It houses the largest unmodified refractor telescope still in use in New Zealand
- Cruise on the Waimarie (est. 1900), New Zealand's last paddlesteamer, or the M V Wairua (est. 1904)
- Take a guided tour on the Whanganui River, the longest navigable waterway in New Zealand and the second longest river in the North Island
- Visit the Bason Botanic Gardens in Whanganui recognized as a Garden of Regional Significance
- Allow a couple of hours for the 80 kilometre scenic journey from Wanganui to Pipiriki