Based on the Whanganui River, the longest navigable river in New Zealand, Whanganui and the nearby towns have played a significant role in both Maori and European history. Historic sites and museums offer fascinating insights into this past. A large variety of modern activities, including art galleries, mountain biking routes, and more, are available for any kind of traveler looking for the top Whanganui attractions, including a river cruise, farmers market, and Bushy park.
7 Best Things To Do In Whanganui
See Whanganui’s Wonderful Beaches
The Whanganui River might get all the attention there, but there are also three lovely beaches to explore. The ideal place to walk is Castlecliff Beach, especially if you take a stroll at low tide among the craggy coastal cliffs. While South Beach is a huge, untamed length of sand that extends for miles and miles, Kai Iwi Beach is a fantastic swimming beach for families. All of the aforementioned locations are fantastic for watching the sunset!
Traveling Up the Whanganui River Road
Along the Whanganui River Road, enjoy breathtaking views of the Whanganui River, the surrounding countryside, and historical sites. Visit the charming ancient towns with Maori and European architecture by vehicle or bicycle, stopping along the way for a few walks and overlooks.
Go Biking On Trails
In addition to the well-known Mountains to Sea Cycle Trail, the area offers various more leisurely rides. The Round the Bridges Whanganui path traverses four bridges while following boardwalks along the river inside the city. Make a day of it by visiting the many parks, cafes, and other attractions along the river. As an alternative, Whanganui is home to a number of mountain bike parks and trails.
Visit Whanganui Farmers Market
The River Traders & Whanganui Farmers Market, which has been operating for more than a century, is an excellent spot to pick up some trinkets and experience a traditional market. Every Saturday morning, peruse and purchase regionally produced foods, artwork, plants, clothes, and crafts along the river.
Take A Whanganui River Cruise
Of course, the city’s river, the only river in the entire world with legal entity status, is a highlight. Take a riverboat tour to enjoy a beautiful journey and discover why this river is so important. Driven Vessel With Wairua’s Hipango Park Picnic Cruise, you may visit a breathtaking park that is only reachable by water. There are numerous Maori historical sites, forest walks, picnics, and other amenities in the park. Travel on the Waimarie, a vintage steam paddler with a kitchen and bar where you may have light fare while you cruise.
Visit The Bushy Park Wildlife Sanctuary In Whanganui
Bushy Park Wildlife Sanctuary in Whanganui, a 100 hectares (247 acres) native woodland sanctuary preserved predator-free so native species can thrive, is a must-see for nature lovers. Enjoy a variety of quick hikes around the 3.4 km (2.1 mi) of flat paths as you search for New Zealand’s distinctive species, including bellbirds (kmako), wood pigeons (kereru), saddlebacks (teke), stitchbirds (hihi), morepork owls (ruru), blue swamp hens (pkeko), and kingfishers (kotare). The variety of vegetation, which includes one of the largest rata trees in the North Island at 43 meters (141 feet) high and 11 meters (36 feet) round, is another impressive feature. After your visit, have a picnic and unwind on the grounds of the old homestead.
Go Up Durie Hill Tower and Elevator
It takes a while to travel to the Durie Hill Tower and Elevator, but once there, the views of the city are breathtaking. To get to the base of the tower, take the vintage elevator for a few dollars apiece after passing through the 213m (700ft) long tunnel. Alternately, slog it out on the stairs to the hill! A further 176 stairs will take you to the top of the Durie Hill Memorial Tower, where on a clear day, you can see views over Whanganui city, the Whanganui River, the Tasman Sea, and even Mt. Ruapehu.
The Best Time Of Year To Visit There
You are most likely to have pleasant weather with average temperatures between 20 degrees Celsius (68°F) and 26 degrees Celsius (79°F) during the months of January, February, March, and December.
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