Top things to do in Manawatū

Manawatū is packed with great scenery, driving routes, and wildlife. It's no wonder some of the country's richest culture and heritage stories come from here.

1. Take a hike

Experience Te Āpiti - Manawatū Gorge on foot and immerse yourself in ancient native bush, rich in cultural history and legends. Come face-to-face with the sculpture of Whātonga, the ancient Māori Warrior. 

For views that are sure to reward, head to Rangiwahia Hut Track in the Ruahine Ranges. Stay overnight and watch the sunset over the region.

2. Shred some tracks

Send it down one of our legendary trails. Whatever your taste – from technical to fast flowing to easy rollers, Arapuke Mountain Bike Park has got the range.

3. Tour The Country Road

Escape the city with an off-the-beaten-track excursion along The Country Road, a series of scenic routes that will take you on a journey to discover real New Zealand.

4. Follow an art trail

The Coastal Arts Trail is New Zealand’s largest arts trail. It follows a pulse of creativity through Taranaki, Whanganui and Manawatū, offering insight into the lives and inspirations of artists and creatives. This scenic journey takes visitors not only to art galleries and museums, but also to off-the-beaten-track studios and creative rural communities.

5. Explore Rugby History

Home to some of the most impressive art, culture and heritage collections - Manawatū is a place of awe, and inspiration. Uncover the depth of our national rugby spirit at the New Zealand Rugby Museum or wander through Te Manawa and engage in the stories of our past, present and future. Whether you’re a museum hopper, or a mural enthusiast... Manawatū has a gallery for you.

6. Relax at a Rural Retreat

Whisk yourself off to our little slice of paradise. Escape to the country and wake up to views of beautiful rolling countryside at Hiwinui Country Estate, Ridge Top Farm Glamping or Makoura Lodge. Help feed the animals at Rangitīkei Farmstay, or soak in the outdoor bathtub at The Last Church in Āpiti or cedar spa at Rathmoy Estate - you’ll truly feel the spirit of Manawatū.

7. Raft the Rangitīkei River

Raft, kayak, and camp along the Rangitīkei River with a ‘stay and play’ package. Kids as young as three years old can join in on the fun, so bring the whole whānau to spend the days on the river and nights hanging out together.

8. Tee off on a picturesque golf course

With a long, and proud golfing history, you won’t struggle to find the perfect course for you in Manawatū, from Rangatira Golf Club overlooking the beautiful Rangitīkei River to the historic Manawatū Golf Club - the oldest golf course in New Zealand.

Load up on local cheeses, fresh produce and delicious treats at the award-winning Feilding Farmers’ Market. Take a guided tour of the largest saleyards in the Southern Hemisphere and witness the live auctions of sheep and cattle in action. Complete your Friday with a trip down memory lane at The Coach House Museum.

10. Central Energy Trust Wildbase Recovery Centre

Visitors have the opportunity to see what's involved with caring for sick or injured native wildlife at New Zealand’s newest native wildlife recovery centre. The centre cares for some of the world's most endangered species.

Where to Next