Manawatu, Walks & Parks

  • Bason Botanic Gardens - Whanganui

    Bason Botanic Garden is rated a “Garden of Significance” by the New Zealand Gardens Trust. It includes one of the most extensive public garden orchid collections in New Zealand. Families enjoy their time here making use of the wide open spaces and free gas BBQ facilities.

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    • Location: 552 Rapanui Rd,
      Westmere 4574
      Whanganui
  • Te Apiti – Manawatu Gorge Tawa Loop - Palmerston North

    This 2 hour, 4km loop track is a great option to explore the native bush and the view points along the Te Apiti Gorge.

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    • Location: Napier Rd, Aokautere 4471
  • Te Apiti Wind Farm - Palmerston North

    The views from here are worth the visit, on clear days you can see as far as Mt Ruapehu, Mt Taranaki and out across the horizon. You can stand directly beneath a turbine and read all about how they work. With giant turbine blades whirring overhead, these surreal machines are quite a spectacle to behold.

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    • Location: Woodville 4999
  • Manawatu River Pathway - Palmerston North

    There are many access points to this biking and walking trail, which runs for over 9kms between Maxwells Line in the West to Riverside Drive in the East.  Take a break at the Victoria Esplanade along the middle section of the pathway to enjoy the  rose gardens, bird aviaries, BBQ facilities, playgrounds, miniature train rides and duck ponds.

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    • Location: Manawatu Riverside Walkway
      Palmerston North
  • Alice Nash Memorial Heritage Lodge Track - Palmerston North

    This track in the scenic Oroua River valley can be enjoyed as a half day tramp but it's also a good overnight tramp for families with children and new trampers. To get to the hut it's only about an hour each way and the views up the Oroua River and the surrounding ranges are spectacular

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    • Location: Table Flat Rd
      Apiti 4774
  • Fern Walk - Manawatu

    The Fern Walk will take you through beautiful native bush, with lots of native trees to see, including totara, martai, rimu and kahikatea. The birdlife is abundant throughout the area so keep your eye out for birds such as the Tui, Fantail, Bellbird and Kereru Wood Pigeon.

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    • Location: Pohangina Valley E Rd
      Pohangina 4884
  • Kai Iwi Beach - Whanganui

    Patrolled during the summer you can swim, fish, laze in the sun, go for long walks and pick through the driftwood. Kai Iwi Beach also has a playground, with a flying fox over a stream and pirate climbing ship.

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    • Location: Kai Iwi 4574
  • Waitahinga Trails Whanganui

    A range of walks in wild, native bush. The Waitahinga Trails are located about 12 kms past Bushy Park, inland from Kai Iwi Beach, and are a collection of walks in native bush catering for various fitness levels. There are various walks of different lengths that make a great half day or full day outing in the hinterlands of Whanganui!

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    • Location: Rangitatau East Road
      (Junction Road)
      Kai Iwi, Whanganui.
  • Bushy Park Wildlife Sanctuary

    Bushy Park Reserve is a 100 hectare native forest sanctuary kept predator‑free for native birds and is ranked one of Australasia’s ‘Top 25’ Restoration Projects. There are 3.4km of easy all‑weather walking tracks throughout the forest and a huge variety of bird life and species of trees. Don’t miss ‘Ratanui’, believed to be the biggest northern rata, 43 metres high with a girth of more than 11 metres with an age of between 500 and 1000 years.  Free entry, daylight hours.
    While you’re there, visit the 22 room 1906 Edwardian‑era homestead and enjoy a picnic.

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    • Location: 791 Rangitatau East Road, Wanganui
  • Sledge Track - Palmerston North

    Scenic walk with stunning waterfalls, swimming holes and rock formations along the way - 5-6 hours return.

    Starting off as a nice, easy walk ideal for children and families, the Sledge Track offers a great escape into the wild without travelling too far. Walking the track you will see waterfalls and swimming holes, as well as stunning rock formations in the river and scenic picnic spots. After the first 30 minutes or so, just past the Argyle Rocks, the track gradually steepens and is better suited to experienced walkers. For competent trampers, heading right up to the Elevation (1.5 hours in) and onto the Platinum Mines (3 hours in) past a number of old mineshafts makes for a satisfying trek into some of the regions most spectacular scenery.

    A new 22 metre swing bridge, added in 2017, has created a loop track. Found approximately 2.5km into the walk, the swing bridge takes you over the gully and into Arapuke Park, a Mountain Bike park. From here, you can return via Checkpoint Charlie Track and Pupurahi, or via the longer 7km route of Arapuke Road and Back Track. Both of these are shared tracks, so please be mindful and giveaway to mountain bikers who can travel at speed.

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    • Location: Car park at the end of Kahuterawa Road (GRAVEL ROAD), which runs off Old West Road in Palmerston North
Map of New Zealand
  • Central Otago
  • Bay of Plenty
  • Coromandel
  • Dunedin
  • Gisborne
  • Fiordland
  • Hawkes Bay
  • North Canterbury
  • Manawatu
  • Nelson & Golden Bay
  • Northland
  • Marlborough Sounds
  • Rotorua
  • Queenstown
  • Taranaki
  • South Canterbury
  • Taupo
  • Southland
  • Waikato
  • Wanaka
  • West Coast
  • Whangarei
  • Bay of Islands
  • Tauranga
  • Gisborne
  • Hamilton
  • Napier
  • Kapiti
  • Palmerston North
  • Whanganui
  • New Plymouth
  • Arrowtown
  • Te Anau
  • Akaroa
  • Ashburton
  • Hanmer
  • Kaikoura
  • Methven
  • Mt Cook
  • Oamaru
  • Tekapo
  • Timaru
  • Abel Tasman
  • Motueka
  • Nelson Lakes
  • Blenheim
  • Picton
  • Catlins
  • Gore
  • Stewart Island
  • Central Plateau
  • Invercargill
  • Cromwell
  • Greymouth
  • Hokitika
  • Westport
  • Glenorchy

Our favourite destinations…

Auckland destination2

Auckland

New Zealand’s economic heart and biggest city is also an exciting family visitor destination, situated on a sunny harbour with city beaches just minutes away from the CBD. Orientate yourself by heading down to Viaduct Harbour, wandering the waterfront, checking out the super yachts or enjoying the waterfront restaurants. Nearby is the must-visit Sky Tower along with excellent and kid-friendly museums and tons of exciting activities!

Wellington

Wellington is New Zealand’s capital. Here you will find New Zealand's parliament buildings, including the 'Executive Wing', more well-known as 'The Beehive' due to its distinctive shape. Another icon to look out for is the Wellington Tram, which was the main means of public transport between 1878 and 1964.

Christchurch

With a population of around 400,000 Christchurch, in Canterbury, is the South Island ’s largest city, yet much of it has the feel of a small town. Perhaps that’s why it’s known as the Garden City but with the expansive Hagley Park, Botanic Gardens, Port Hills, River Avon and numerous beaches the city certainly has an open, relaxed feel that’s hard to beat.

Queenstown

With its well-deserved reputation as New Zealand’s activity adventure capital you’ll never run out of activities and things to do in Queenstown, but you may run out of time! With breathtaking scenery, activities and festivals, cafes and restaurants, skiing and snowboarding, shopping and wineries, this lakeside alpine resort rates as one of the world’s top vacation destinations for all ages and seasons.

Rotorua

Rotorua sits on the shore of Lake Rotorua, one of sixteen lakes in the area formed by hundreds of thousands of years of eruptions from the Taupo Volcanic Zone. The area is renowned for its geothermal activity and top of any activity list is to see the bubbling mud pools that are around the region for yourself. The Waimangu Volcanic Valley offers a first hand insight into the devastation caused by the 1886 eruption of Mount Tarawera and is a great place to discover steaming volcanic craters and bubbling, spitting  pools of mud!

Nelson and Golden Bay

The Nelson and Golden Bay regions, at the top of the South Island, boast enviable sunshine hours, glorious sandy beaches, safe swimming spots, lots of wildlife to look out for, and Abel Tasman National Park - an absolute must to explore, on foot, by kayak, your own craft or watertaxi.  Nelson is home to a vibrant arts and crafts community with a fabulous Saturday market, and is close to award-winning wineries and family-friendly bike tracks to take you around the coast.

Hawkes Bay

Napier was rebuilt after the 1931 earthquake and is now known as NZ's Art Deco City.  The Art Deco influence has created a unique city – nowhere else can you see such a varied concentration of art deco style. With over 2,200 sunshine hours a year, Napier is a year-round holiday destination with countless activities to entertain the kids – there's days of entertainment on Marine Parade alone, plus numerous other family-friendly trips and activities.  Add to that the beaches, walks and flat cycle paths, outdoor cafes and entertainment, and you have a perfect holiday destination!

Northland

Beautiful, unspoiled beaches, fishing, historic gum fields, kauri forests – the Far North has it all. With subtropical temperatures, it's often known as ‘the Winterless north', with warm, humid summers and mild winters.
Gateway to the Bay of Islands, Paihia is a pretty, lively beachside town and a perfect base for your family holiday. It’s your start point for Bay of Island adventures including day cruises, sailing, kayaking, swimming with dolphins and reef or wreck diving.