Wanganui is a pretty city, built on the banks of the magnificent Whanganui River.
Wanganui is situated at the mouth of the impressive Whanganui River, on the southwestern coast of New Zealand’s North Island. Maori first settled the area over 900 years ago. The first Europeans came to the area in 1840, and the city became a thriving port, servicing the surrounding region. Today, the city remains a busy centre for the region.
Wanganui is a pretty city and its river is a focal point for many of the town’s attractions. Cruises on the river aboard a paddle steamer are popular with visitors to the city, or the more adventurous could try their hand at jet boating or kayaking. The town has pretty gardens, an excellent museum and an art gallery. A climb to the top of the 32 metre high memorial at the summit of Durie Hill offers excellent views over the city.
The outlying area is home to the Whanganui National Park, its main attraction being the magnificent Whanganui River that runs through it. It is the largest navigable river in New Zealand, and its 239 listed rapids make it popular with kayakers and river rafters. The park also has a network of walking tracks, which are also excellent for mountain biking.