Wanganui, New Zealand

Wanganui (also spelled Whanganui) is part of the Manawatu-Wanganui region and was designated a city until 1989.  It is located on the west coast of the North Island and the Whanganui River is the country's longest navigable waterway.  While there are a number of landmarks and important architectural buildings to visit, most of the local fun can be found in nature.  It is this natural aspect that draws tourists in time and time again.

Wanganui outdoor activities

A fantastic place for families to visit is Kowhai Park.  The park is the perfect place to relax, enjoy the lush, green surroundings and let the kids play.  There is even a kiddies pool for the little ones to splash around in and cool off.

The Bridge to Nowhere is another lovely local attraction and can be reached by a number of different ways including cycling and jet boating.  The sheer peacefulness of this area is what keeps visitors coming back for more.

If you are a fan of water and the tranquil trickling sounds it makes, then you should include a trip to Whanganui River and Virginia Lake during your holiday.  The historic Whanganui River paddle steamer PS Waimarie was salvaged in 1993, after being buried in the mud of the Whanganui River for 43 years. Now fully restored the PS Waimarie now does 2 hour scheduled cruises up the Whanganui River.

On the other hand, if you prefer surrounding yourself with the local plant life and gorgeous flowers in bloom then make sure you visit the Bason Botanic Gardens. 

Other things to do in Wanganui

The Durie Hill Elevator is a must for any visitor.  It was build decades ago as a form of transport for those who wished to make their way to and from the city.  Today, you can enjoy some of the most spectacular city views from the top and, for an even better view, make your way up to the top of the tower.

For visitors and locals who would like to learn or refresh their knowledge of Whanganui's history, a trip to the Whanganui Regional Museum is in order.  In addition to this, a visit to the Sisters of Compassion - St Joseph's Church will also prove enlightening and give further insight into the history, life and local religion and culture.

When in Whanganui, make sure that you look around at all the different tour companies operating in the area.  Many companies offer various guided tour packages that include a number of local sites and activities suitable for all ages.  It also helps having a trained expert around to provide interesting information and answer any questions you may have.