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Whanganui, which is situated on the west coast of New Zealand’s North Island, is steeped in history, art and culture. With a population of 43,600, Whanganui is big enough to draw crowds and small enough to be intimate.
The urban area of Whanganui is situated on the northwestern bank of the Whanganui River, which is also known as Te Awa o Whanganui. The Awa, which is the longest navigable river in New Zealand, is both historically and culturally significant, as well as being a source of sporting and recreational activities for locals and visitors.
The Whanganui District has a stunning natural landscape, with views of Mount Taranaki, Mount Ruapehu and Mount Tongariro, as well as dramatic west coast beaches and unspolit native bush, perfect for tramping and wilderness trips.
Whanganui also has numerous art galleries, an international facility for glass art and several music venues as well as great café culture.
It is also well known for its sporting history: Peter Snell broke the world record for the four minute mile at Cooks Gardens in Wanganui on 27 January 1962 and the district has been a stronghold for rowing since the foundation of the Wanganui and Union Boat Clubs in the late 1870s. Whanganui continues to have excellent sport and recreational facilities such as the Splash Centre, Cooks Gardens and a Cycling Velodrome.
Whanganui has a series of regular events throughout the year, including the Vintage Weekend, Cemetery Circuit Street Races, V8 Jet Sprint Championships, Wanganui Opera Week, NZ Masters Games, Artists Open Studios, Mountains to Sea Multisport and the Whanganui Literary Festival.
When visiting Whanganui, don’t be surprised to find an immediate sense of connection, an unexpected little slice of heaven, and real New Zealand authenticity.