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8 Summer Date Ideas in Manawatū

8 Summer Date Ideas in Manawatū

If the weather's fine - and so is your S.O - why not freshen things up with some alfresco romancing? Whether dinner on the beach is your vibe or cycling through the countryside is more your style, there's something here to suit everyone.

Manawatū will bring the scenic backdrops, you just need to bring your beau!

1. Go for a ride

Summer lovin' doesn't have to be slow - keep up the pace on your bikes as you explore the region's best angles and hidden-away treasures with a couple's cycle through the countryside. 

Stop at Hansen's Cafe in Kimbolton, the Rusty Radiator in Halcombe, or Āpiti Tavern & Eatery for some food fuel plus a dose of small town charm.

End your day at the funky Last Church in Āpiti for a well-deserved rest and take a soak in the outdoor bath for extra recovery points with some romantic flavour.

Manawatu Cycling Trail Pohangina
Views across Pohangina Valley
Feilding Farmers' Market Manawatū
The Feilding Farmers' Market

2. Freshen things up

Enjoy a slow morning exploring a fresh farmers' market!

Have fun sampling local honeys, cheese and more. Once you've got a basket of  fresh and flavourful produce, have a go at using your new bits and pieces when you go to make dinner together.

Choose between Hokowhitu Village Farmers' Market (held every first and third Sunday of the month, 9am-1pm), Feilding Farmers' Market (every Friday 9am-1.30pm) or Albert Street Farmers' Market (every Saturday 6am-10am).

3. Go head to head

Make things interesting with some healthy competition - in the way of a round of mini golf of course! Work on your putting skills at your choice of Manawatū course; get a game in at Victoria Esplanade (perhaps after exploring the bush tracks there) or enjoy the unique holes at Feilding Lion's Mini Golf featuring clock towers, moats and more!

If you'd rather work on your swing, hit up Orlando Country's popular driving range. Book a bay, order some food and drinks and get those balls flying.

Orlando Country Club Palmerston North
Orlando Country
Heritage Park Rhododendron Gardens Kimbolton Manawatū
Manawatū River (near Fitzherbert Bridge)

4. Keep it classic

If it aint broke, don't fix it - and the picnic date stands the test of time! Pack your favourite treats, and choose between the many scenic spots around Manawatū.

Our suggestions include any riverside spot along the Manawatū River Pathway (handy picnic tables and bench seats are dotted all around!), boost the romance with a setup surrounded by fragrant blooms at Dugald Mackenzie Rose Gardens or Heritage Park Rhododendron Gardens, or, if you don't mind company, bring some chopped grapes* along for a date at Memorial Park and share the love with some local ducks! If a complimentary ocean breeze suits your picnic style, then keep on reading!

*feeding the ducks bread is discouraged.

5. Get away from it all

Get some pure, unadulterated one-on-one time with a nature escape at Rangiwahia Hut Track. Just you, your boo and those good ol' mood regulators: fresh air and exercise. It's slightly challenging, but you'll be rewarded in spades by the stunning and diverse views as you climb into the Ruahine Ranges and of course, getting that oh-so-important quality time in.

A romantic* overnight stay at Rangiwahia Hut anyone? Who says the date has to end; book a night at the serviced DOC hut.

Pro tip: get up early and watch the sun rise over the ranges.

*Rangiwahia Hut isn't strictly "romantic" - but you're only limited by your imagination...

Rangiwahia Case 2022 067 medium
Views from Rangiwahia Hut
Ridge Top Farm glamping Manawatū
Ridge Top Farm

6. Glamp it up

If DOC huts aren't your flavour, add a bit more glam (or glamp) at Ridge Top Farm near Waituna West. With a luxury "tent", cabin (for any kids tagging along) and private kitchen and bathroom facilities all nestled into the scenic farmland, you'll have the best of both worlds: peace AND luxury.

Cook dinner on the fire-pit, watch the sun set over the west coast, then stargaze from the outdoor baths... the romance is strong with this one.

In the morning wake up nice and slow to the soft morning light and warbling magpies, then take a scenic walk around the farm before heading home.

7. Sun, surf and sand

There's nothing like the sights and sounds of the ocean - so why not head to Himatangi Beach for some briny wind in your hair, squealing seagulls and the unbeatable soundtrack of waves hitting sand. You don't have to work hard for this date, it's all there waiting to set the mood...

Take your shoes off and dig those toes in the sand before embarking on a peaceful stroll along the beach. Play chicken with the tide or throw caution to the wind and take a dip in the sea all before finishing up with some fish and chips (or a pre-packed picnic basket if you're organised) on a rug.

Himatangi Beach Manawatū
Himatangi Beach
Manawatū Turitea Pā Palmerston North
Turitea Pā, He Ara Kotahi shared pathway

8. Riverside rendevous

If you'd prefer a river over a beach, you don't need to look far - our region's namesake, the mighty Manawatū River (awa), has all the makings of a successful sunny arvo date...

Stroll, scoot or cycle along He Ara Kotahi and Manawatū River Shared Pathways (there are over 15kms of marked paths to explore) and take stops along the way to spot some eels, explore the cultural Turitea Pā, or simply admire the views.

Finish up with a coffee or ice cream (if you time it right) and a well-deserved rest in a shaded hammock.

Have we missed any of your favourite summer date spots?
Let us know on
Palmy & Manawatū on Instagram (@manawatu_nz).

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