What's it like?
Conveniently located half way between Taupo and Wellington, Manawatu includes the districts of Manawatu, Rangitikei, Horowhenua and Tararua. The Manawatu region combines the charm of rural New Zealand with the sophisticated provincial appeal of Palmerston North city. The name ‘Manawatu’ is derived from two words, Manawa and tu. Manawa refers to the heart – tu describes something that has come to a halt. The ancestor Hau uttered the words “ka tu taku manawa” meaning ‘my heart stands still’ at the sight of the awesome Manawatu River.
Things to do in the Manawatu region
Visitors to the Tararua district can discover a relaxed lifestyle conveniently close to main centres. Great fishing, eco-tourism and adventure opportunities. Visit the world famous National Wildlife Centre at Mount Bruce, view the majestic turbines of Tararua Wind Power and Te Apiti, experience the tranquillity of a walk through stunning native forests.
Only an hour away from Wellington, between the mountains and the sea lie the hills, plains, rivers, lakes and beaches of the Horowhenua. The district is said to have the most moderate climate in the world. Visitors can get the feel of real NZ as they drive along the coastal road passing cafes, beaches, museums, island trips, wineries, unique nature parks and many other attractions. Beaches provide safe swimming as do the mountain streams and there are nature walks everywhere.
Thrills and fresh air can be found by visitors to the Rangitikei district through bungy jumping, white water rafting on the Rangitikei River, or they can take it easy with some excellent trout fishing, a game of golf or some horse trekking. Sheep shearing can also be experienced for those looking for something traditionally Kiwi.
The university city of Palmerston North, one of New Zealand’s largest provincial cities, can be found in the south of the region along with many restored buildings from the 1920s and 30s now containing boutiques, great restaurants and cafes. Visitors can enjoy exploring the central business district located on a large leafy square.
Main towns in Manawatu
Ashhurst & Pohangina Valley - close proximity to the Ruahine Forest Park makes it an ideal stepping-stone for outdoor enthusiasts
Sanson - popular stop-off point for crafts/antiques enthusiasts
Tangimoana – meaning “crying sea”. Rich in Maori history, Tangimoana was a favoured gathering ground of seafood
Rangiwahia - Manawatu’s northern most township. Meaning “cloud piercer”