How Manawatū Are You?
If you’re looking to reconnect with friends and whānau and get out and have some family fun with the kids, Manawatū has all the right ingredients for an unforgettable experience.
- Choose the scenic route along The Country Road driving routes to immerse yourself in the stunning Manawatū scenery. Follow the map for the top stops and viewing spots along the way.
- Take to the tussock tops of the Ruahine Ranges on the much loved, Rangiwahia Hut Track. This day or overnight tramp will take you across an awe-inspiring arched-wooden bridge, past a beautiful waterfall to breathtaking views stretching to Mt Ruapehu and beyond.
- Uncover the majestic ancient Māori Chief, Whātonga, who has been immortalised in a 6m tall sculpture at the heart of Te Āpiti Manawatū Gorge. This landmark of awe-inspiring legend and cultural significance, offers three tracks through the ancient bush to explore, from a 30-minute loop walk to a 5-hour tramp and mountain biking options too.
- For an abundance of blooms, explore the world-renowned Cross Hills Gardens. More than 2,000 varieties of azaleas and rhododendrons, waterfalls, ponds, a maze and secret pathways. Add their annual Cross Hills Country Fair in November to your diary.
- The Herb Farm is an idyllic brunch and lunch destination. Set in the picturesque Ashhurst countryside, the onsite cafe offers delicious fresh food and you can peruse the award-winning natural skincare products made onsite in The Herb Farm shop.
- For a room with a view, Ridge Top Farm Glamping has you covered. Nestled into the hillside is a luxury glamping site with astonishing panoramic views, it’s the perfect place to soak up the stunning scenery of the North Island, whether with a wine in the outdoor baths, a book by the firepit or a picnic during the beautiful farm walk.
- If you want some country charm, in the small rural village of Āpiti in northern Manawatū, sits The Last Church in Āpiti, quirky accommodation for those seeking the ultimate escape to relax and discover the stunning Manawatū. Set near the base of the Ruahine Ranges, this renovated Sunday School is a cosy base to explore the Ruahine’s and surrounding bush walks, glow worm caves, swimming holes, and more.
- At the heart of Victoria Esplanade lies one of New Zealand’s only native wildlife recovery centre, Wildbase Recovery. Connect with nature and learn more about Aotearoa’s native wildlife with a tour of this educational facility and meet the resident animals and patients rehabilitating after treatment at Massey University’s Wildbase Hospital. After you’ve visited the wildlife, explore the rest of Victoria Esplanade where you’ll discover bush walks, bird aviaries and a world-renowned rose garden.
- Enjoy stunning waterfalls, swimming holes and picnic spots away from the crowds at the Sledge Track in the Kahuterawa Valley just 25 minutes outside Palmerston North city. Whether you’re on the track for an easy walk or a serious tramp, keep an eye out for the thriving bush-clad wildlife, from kapokapowai, the giant bush dragonfly to the many native birds that call the valley home. Keen adventurers will come across a swing bridge and a mine shaft further along the track.
Reconnect with nature and yourself as you venture among the tranquil beauty that the Manawatū offers those who are willing to take a walk on the wild side and let it run away with their heart.