Conveniently located halfway between Rotorua and Wellington, the region of Manawatu combines both the charm of rural NZ with the sophisticated provincial appeal of Palmerston North city, New Zealand’s seventh largest city.
The landscape itself sweeps majestically from the pristine solitude of the high country Ruahine and Tararua Ranges, to the scenic Manawatu Gorge, through to the coastal sands of Tangimoana and Himatangi.
Unspoiled rivers await nature lovers, that wind their way from the ranges through fertile agricultural farmlans to the coast; principal among these is the Manawatu River, which carved the 6.4km Manawatu Gorge through the mountains. It truly is a beauty that needs to be seen to be believed. An interesting fact about Manawatu, and its river: “Manawatu” translated into Maori literally means “Heart Stood Still”. “Manawatu” comes from the “Manawatu River” which runs through the region. The name originated from a Maori Chef who was on a journey. When he got to the River, the story goes that it was so wide and deep and cold that it made his breath stand still. So he called it still breath – “Manawatu River”.
Another unique feature of Manawatu is that it is home to both the Te Apiti and Tararua Wind Farms – the latter of which being the largest wind farm in the Southern Hemisphere. A drive up winding scenic roads rewards the traveller with not only spectacular views of Manawatu and bordering regions, but also with a view of the turbines up close; visitors can even stand underneath one of the soaring turbines as the 35metre long blades twirl around in the wind. An exhilarating experience to say the least.
For the horticulturalists, The Dugald MacKenzie Rose Garden in the Victoria Esplanade Gardens is the crowning jewel of Manawatu. Intertnationally recognised as one of the world’s premier rose gardens, it hosts the New Zealand Rose Society’s International Rose trial grounds. All of this beauty is within easy reach of our Manawatu hotels, as are the many art galleries and boutique shops that the region enjoys.
For those who are after something slightly more adrenalin focussed, Manawatu is not only home to the North Island’s highest bungy jump, but is also a great region for mountain biking and horse trekking. Also, as it is flanked by beaches on the Tasman Sea, visitors can take a blo-kart ride on the sand, or simply enjoy the largest dune field in New Zealand.
Our range of Manawatu accommodation is conveniently located around the area to allow you to explore all that the region has to offer; whether it be adventure, culture, or simply relaxation that you are offer, Manawatu is sure to fill your needs.
Image Credit: Destination Manawatu - Te Apiti Windfarm.