Whanganui - meaning ‘big river’ - was one of the first cities to be founded in New Zealand and comes from the great river that flows through it. It is picturesque and has much to show the visitor. Prominent heritage buildings in the city include the Whanganui Opera House and the Sarjeant Art Gallery. Visit the regional museum and see the magnificent collection of Lindauer portraits and Maori treasures. And have a look at one of the more unusual attractions, the earthbound elevator that rises to the top of Durie Hill.
But the real heart of this place, both physically and spiritually, is the Whanganui River. In early times the river was an important transport route for Maori and European settlers. Today, the Whanganui National Park is a place of river adventures where you can zip up the river by jetboat or cruise it by paddle steamer. For a kayaking experience, try the ‘Whanganui Journey’ which starts in Taumaranui and ends in Pipiriki, taking you through stunning bush-clad hill country and long narrow gorges. Time, indeed, to go with the flow.
- Whanganui airport has daily flights to Auckland and Wellington. Private and charter aircraft also use the facility.
- Kayak and canoe river journeys, through the Whanganui National Park, range from one to five days.
- Public hiking trails lead through lush native forests to spectacular scenic highlights. Options range from five minute strolls to multi-day hikes.
- The people of Whanganui are warm and welcoming. They love to engage with visitors to their region.