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Manawatu, New ZealandPalmerston North Scenic Highlights

Palmerston North | Regional Information | Activity Highlights | Scenic Highlights | History

Known as the "Rose City" and nestled in the Manawatu region, Palmerston North is a beautiful garden city, with many trees, gardens and ponds.

Palmerston North Scenic Highlights Overview

Palmerston North, the Manawatu region's largest city, lies next to the Manawatu River and close to the beautiful Ruahine and Tararua mountain ranges.

Palmerston North is a garden city, with many trees, gardens and ponds and has been known as the "Rose City".

Near Palmerston North is New Zealand's largest wind farm, an icon of New Zealand's largely renewable energy based power grid. Tours are available of the farm where one can stare up in amazement in the towering turbines busy generating power without disturbing the livestock happily grazing beneath them.

Palmerston North also has an array of historically significant heritage buildings to see as well as museums - such as a New Zealand Rugby Museum and as well as a Pioneer Museum.

» Palmerston North Attractions Directory

Glorious Gardens of Every Description

At Cross Hills Gardens, Kimbolton you can enjoy a park-like garden that includes one of the world's finest collections of rhododendrons and azaleas—there are over 2,000 varieties on display.

The Fragrant Garden in Feilding is a commercial production nursery specialising in herbs and lavender. Visitors are welcome to visit the display gardens.

In coastal Manawatu you'll find Pukemarama, a classic example of the formal English gardens that were popular in the 19th century.

A garden on a grand scale can be found in the city of Palmerston North. The Victoria Esplanade Gardens were opened to mark Queen Victoria's 60th Jubilee. Features include a large duck pond, a cherry drive and an avenue of phoenix palms. The rose garden has over 5,500 varieties and incorporates the International Rose Trial Grounds. There are walkways and a miniature railway through native bush.

» Manawatu Gardens Information

The Ruahine Forest Park

Image Source: Tourism New Zealand. Ruahine Forest Park, Manawatu, New Zealand
Ruahine Forest Park
Manawatu
Photographer: Rob Suisted
(www.naturespic.com)

Ruahine Forest Park is one of a number of small mountain ranges that form the spine of the North Island. The range offers some wonderful forest and alpine walks for those wanting somewhere away from the standard tourist trips.

The range lies on an active fault line and is being constantly uplifted by geological activity.

The central and northern Ruahine range are a hikers and hunters delight. Clear rivers, attractive beech forest and alpine tops make for some fascinating walks. You can access the park from Taihape or Mangaweka.

» Ruahine Forest Park Information

The Manawatu Gorge and Anticlines

Image Source: Tourism New Zealand. Jet Boating Manawatu Gorge, Manawatu, New Zealand
Jet Boating Manawatu Gorge
Manawatu
Photographer: Ian Trafford
(www.iantraffordphotos.com)

The picturesque Manawatu Gorge and Scenic Reserve with steep bush clad hills are only 20 minutes drive from Palmerston North. The Manawatu Gorge is one of only a few places in the world where a river passes through a dividing range.

For those interested in geology, the ranges near Palmerston North are fascinating pieces of geology. Anticlines (the starting point of a mountain range pushing upward) are often difficult to see but in Manawatu near Palmerston North they are readily visible. The 50 kilometres Pohangina Anticline (near the Manawatu Gorge) runs alongside the Tararua and Ruahine Ranges, which (it is believed) began life as anticlines about half a million years ago. These ranges are rising at a rate of at least one millimetre a year, the Pohangina Anticline is growing rapidly in geological terms. Tectonic landforms are not very common worldwide and certainly not common to find them adjacent to public highways as they are here in Manawatu.

Palmerston North Accommodation

Palmerston North is a popular tourist destination and offers a wide range of accommodation options:

View more Palmerston North Accommodation options.

Useful Palmerston North Links

To help plan your Palmerston North holiday choose from the main categories below:

Palmerston North Region Information

Palmerston North Tourism Operators

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Mainstay New Zealand Hotels

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Large collection of independent hotels.

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Holiday packages for any occasion.

Distinction Hotels

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Great hotels in great NZ wide locations.