Set at the mouth of the Whanganui River—the largest navigable river in New Zealand—the city of Whanganui is one of New Zealand’s most important historical settlements. A bustling army base in the New Zealand Wars, much of the city's ancient and military history is still evident today. Ascend 200 feet (61 meters) in an elevator to the top of War Memorial Tower for sweeping views of the city, or explore the many historic buildings, galleries, and museums to gain more insight about this riverbank town.
Inhabited first by the Maori and later settled by Europeans, the best way to learn about the city's unique history and culture is with a knowledgeable, local guide. Visit the most popular sights, such as Virginia Lake and the riverfront market, and many more on a half-day tour of the city. Don't forget to ask your guide about outdoor activities available in the mountains and rivers just outside town.
Whanganui is located 143 miles (230 kilometers) north of Wellington, and is approximately a two-and-a-half hour drive from the city. It can be reach from Auckland on a short, one-hour flight.
Did You Know? The name of the town is spelled both Whanganui as well as Wanganui.