Wanganui River, lovingly known as "The Rhine of New Zealand", is a holiday destination in itself. Here you can go fishing, kayaking, canoeing or jet boating. Or take on the rapids if you're an adventure seeker. While you're on the river, make sure you also check out the 100-year-old PS Waimarie paddle steamer, which reveals some of the region's interesting heritage. The Wanganui National Park borders the river and is a beautiful haven for nature lovers. Here, you'll see gorges, bluffs, ridges and valleys, as well as rare native flora and fauna. While you're in the park, you can cross the eerie "Bridge to Nowhere", which once led to a settlement across the river, but now only gives access to an isolated patch of land, abandoned more than 60 years ago. The city of Wanganui is also home to a number of smaller parks, reserves and gardens which you can stroll through to enjoy the tranquillity.
Things for Art and Culture Lovers to Do
There's always something on at the Royal Opera House, whether you're keen to listen to an elegant music ensemble or you just want to watch a comedy act. Make sure you check the events calendar and book your tickets early to guarantee a seat at the show of your choice. Another must-visit is the Sarjeant Art Gallery, which is temporarily located at Taupo Quay, while the original building undergoes construction and earthquake strengthening. The gallery has been a popular Wanganui attraction for almost 100 years and often displays interesting contemporary and historical pieces of artwork, from both European and Maori artists. Although the gallery space is smaller at the moment, the exhibitions are equally as impacting and, when the reconstruction is finished, the gallery is sure to be a bigger hit than ever.
Getting Here and Around
Palmerston North is the nearest airport, only 70km away, so grab one of these cheap flights to Palmerston North. From there, you can jump on a shuttle bus to Wanganui and then catch the local public buses to get around. If you'd like to visit the nearby towns of Hawera and Taihape, all you have to do is catch an intercity bus and enjoy the ride.
So wot are you waiting for? Book your flights and Wanganui accommodation with us now and start packing for your adventure in this natural paradise!
Hotels in Whanganui start at NZ$93 per night. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.