Visit the city of Whanganui and see the resurgence of heritage, arts, culture, and innovation.
It’s easy to enjoy walking along Victoria Street, stopping in at cafés and independent retail outlets before heading along the Whanganui River’s walkway.
Te Awa o Whanganui (the Whanganui River) is a major river in the North Island of New Zealand.
It is the country's third-longest river, and the longest navigable river with special status owing to its importance to the region's Māori people. In March 2017 it became the world's second natural resource to be given its own legal identity, with the rights, duties and liabilities of a legal person.
"Whanganui was one of the first cities to be founded in New Zealand. Whanganui, meaning 'big bay' or ‘big harbour', comes from the great river that flows through it."
Coupled with a rich Māori history of settlement and trade, Whanganui also has many stories of early European settlement and places benefacted for the beauty and growth of the city today.
The local Durie Hill Elevator is Sixty-six metres high and was built in 1919. It is New Zealand’s only public underground elevator and unique in the southern hemisphere! A pedestrian tunnel leads to the elevator and at the top the panoramic views of the Tasman Sea, Mount Ruapehu and Mount Taranaki are amazing.
Other heritage attractions are the Waimarie Paddle Steamer, the Wairua Motor Vessel, Sarjeant Gallery, Whanganui Regional Museum, St Paul’s Memorial Church at Putiki and historic Royal Wanganui Opera House.
Three beaches, Castlecliff Beach, South Beach and Kai Iwi Beach, are all close to the town.
Cycle trails and tracks, numerous art galleries and events, the New Zealand Glassworks and several music venues as well as a great café culture are all there to enjoy.
Visit the Whanganui River Traders and Farmers Markets on a Saturday and take a casual stroll along the river boardwalks. You won’t run out of things to do. People are friendly and will greet you with “kia ora” while shopping the independent boutiques and retro shops is a treat.
“Don’t be surprised to find an immediate sense of connection, an unexpected little slice of heaven, and real New Zealand authenticity in Whanganui today.”