Explore the beauty of heartland New Zealand and find the peaceful pleasures created by gardeners and conservationists. There's also plenty of potential for adventure in Manawatu.
This area is based around State Highway 1 where it descends from the volcanic plateau to Wellington, west of the main ranges.
In the Rangitikei river valley and surrounding hill country, bed and breakfasts and farmstays are a specialty—many of the old homesteads have magnificent gardens and fascinating tales to tell. This could be the place to try your hand at sheep shearing or horse riding.
The largest of the villages and towns along the road to Mount Ruapehu and the central plateau is Taihape. It is renowned as the 'gumboot capital' of New Zealand. Every year a festival is held to celebrate this essential item of rural kiwi footwear. Competitive gumboot throwing is a special highlight—and it's not as easy as it looks!
The Manawatu region is a major agricultural power, leading in beef, sheep and deer production. Farmstays allow visitors to experience life on a New Zealand farm, not to mention some excellent country cooking.
The Rangitikei river supports an excellent trout fishery. You'll also find opportunities for bungy jumping, white water and scenic rafting. Golf courses are sprinkled throughout the area, a great way to soak up the scenery and all the fresh air you can handle.
To the south is the university city of Palmerston North, one of the country's largest provincial cities. The central business district of Palmerston North is centred on a large leafy square.
Many of Palmerston North's original stores built in the 1920's and 1930's have been restored and are now charming boutiques, cafes and great restaurants. It is a good base for exploring the many large private gardens in the surrounding countryside.
Main Centres in Manawatu
- Palmerston North - a major university city with many country gardens to visit in the countryside
- Dannevirke - the main town in the Tararua District
- Levin - the largest town in the Horowhenua District
Useful Manawatu Links
To help plan your Manawatu holiday choose from the main categories below:
- Manawatu Accommodation
- Manawatu Tours
- Manawatu Attractions and Activities
- Manawatu Transport
- Manawatu Cuisine and Dining
- Manawatu Shopping
- Manawatu Visitor Information
Manawatu Region Information
Key information and facts about the Manawatu region.
Major activities and attractions in the Manawatu region.