Whanganui was one of the first cities to be founded in New Zealand. Whanganui, meaning ‘big river’ comes from the great river that flows through it.
The city is picturesque and has much to show the visitor. Prominent heritage buildings in the city include the Wanganui Opera House and the Sarjeant Art Gallery. Visit the regional museum and see the magnificent collection of Lindauer portraits and Maori treasures. And have a look at one of the more unusual attractions, the earthbound elevator that rises to the top of Durie Hill.
But the real heart of this place, both physically and spiritually, is the Whanganui River. In early times the river was an important transport route for Maori and European settlers. Today, the Whanganui National Park is a place of river adventures where you can zip up the river by jetboat or cruise it by paddle steamer. For a kayaking experience, try the ‘Whanganui Journey’ which starts in Taumaranui and ends in Pipiriki, taking you through stunning bush-clad hill country and long narrow gorges. Time, indeed, to go with the flow.