Manawatu, North Island

including Palmerston North and Whanganui

Manawatu family holiday

Welcome to Manuwatu and Palmerston North

Walks and Parks

Walks & Parks

Get Outdoors!

Discover the region's walks, parks, beaches, lakes or rivers.

Palmerston North City and Manawatu offers a playground of adventure and discovery. Located in the heart of the lower North Island, the landscape sweeps from the rugged Ruahine and Tararua Ranges out to the Tasman Sea, making it a diverse playground for all tastes.

Palmerston North City

The urban city of Palmerston North is home to the New Zealand Rugby Museum, Te Manawa – Museum of Art, Science and History, and a prominent collection of art galleries. Known as a premier shopping destination in the lower North Island, the city offers everything from major chain brands to boutique designer stores – all of which go hand in hand with the colourful array of cafes and dining options.  Discover the arts and sculpture trail, or sit back and enjoy the internationally recognised theatre scene that provides entertainment for all genres.


The Manawatu Region is one of contrast and diversity, with an appeal that is unique to New Zealand. The rich Edwardian township of Feilding is the heart of rural Manawatu. On a Friday, the centre of Feilding really comes alive. In Manchester Square, the Feilding Farmers’ Market is humming with local producers offering artisan products, locally grown goods and delicious treats. Just down the road you’ll find one of the largest saleyards in the Southern Hemisphere. Here you can get a guided tour from a local drover who will take you through the live auctions and the many fascinating processes of what is one of New Zealand’s oldest traditions. 

Feilding itself is a sight to see, with its Edwardian themed buildings and paved streets, you can see why its won New Zealand’s most beautiful town award no less than 14 times.

Explore the region and take in the dramatic landscape on one of the many family friendly cycling, mountain biking or walking tracks, and even the most avid adrenalin junkie will be satisfied with bungy jumping, white water rafting, jet boating, kite surfing and more on offer. Te Apiti – Manawatu Gorge is a must see destination where ancient native bush connects with myth and legend. Experience its wonders by foot, by rail or water, and ensure you view the iconic sculpture of the Maori legend Whatonga.

Manawatu Scenic Route – An alternative to SH1

One of New Zealand’s official touring routes, the Manawatu Scenic Route offers you a wide range of activities, from secret swimming holes, walks and hikes through ancient native bush, horse treks at high altitude as well as gardens and heritage collections galore. You can drive this route in a day easily, but to really make the most of the unique experience we recommend that you plan it over at least two days.

That way you’ll have plenty of time to stop off at the many highlights, scenic spots and more along the way.  Heading down the Pohangina Valley, this route takes you on an incredible journey through an evolving landscape and offers an insight into real kiwi backcountry where the journey is as much a part of the adventure as the destination.

Te Apiti - Manawatu Gorge

There are few places in New Zealand where within 12 minutes from a major city you can enjoy one of our country’s most iconic natural playgrounds, Te Apiti – Manawatu Gorge. Whether you explore by foot, horseback or mountain bike, Te Apiti – Manawatu Gorge is a must see on your journey. Covered in ancient bush and home to a variety of wildlife, Te Apiti – Manawatu Gorge is steeped in legend and has many a story to tell. Explore the walking tracks and you’ll come face to face with the sculpture of Whatonga, an ancient warrior who stands guard over the forest, and is well worth the walk.  

Whanganui (or Wanganui)

Whanganui is located on the South Taranaki Bight, on the banks of the Whanganui River. It’s in the centre of everything! Central Plateau, Taranaki and the coast are all a short drive away. The city itself is home to Kowhai Park – the most unique children’s park in New Zealand, along with a host of other family friendly outings and activities.