Manawatu - Scenic Highlights
The powerful landscapes of the Manawatu region will find a permanent place in your memory. Mountain ranges stand out in a sea of green pastures and native forest.
Manawatu Scenic Highlights Overview
It's time to appreciate the Manawatu region's wilderness areas—the Tararua Ranges, Whanganui National Park and the Ruahine Forest Park. Find out about Department of Conservation camp sites and treat yourself to a night under the stars.
For those with less time to spare, the Manawatu Gorge Walkway makes a great half day hike.
A Walk in the Ruahine Forest Park
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.
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.
An Absolutely Gorgeous Gorge
The Manawatu Gorge is a classic example of what happens when a mountain range intersects a river. It's also one of only a few places in the world where a river flows east to west through a main divide.
Initially the river flowed westwards, across a landscape that showed no sign of the present mountain ranges. Over the last million years, a wedge of basement greywacke rock has been slowly thrust upwards between two major faults. During this period, the Manawatu River has continually cut down through the rising mountain range to create the gorge. The road and railway cling to the top of the vertical walls.
Health Herbs and Honey
On a Health, Herbs and Honey tour you can meet local people who are passionate about growing, harvesting and producing their unique range of natural health, herb and honey products.
Visit Manawatu's glorious lavender and herb gardens, enjoy delicious garden fresh meals, purchase herbal and honey products and indulge in a wonderful relaxing massage or beauty treatment.
You can also experience hands-on demonstrations such as the distillation of essential lavender oils, through to watching bees in action in their honey hives.
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.