Palmerston North City, gateway to lower North Island

Palmerston North City and Manawatu opens in new window offers an authentic kiwi experience, offering a playground of adventure and discovery. Located in the heart of the lower North Island, the landscape sweeps from the rugged Ruahine and Tararua Ranges and out to the Tasman Sea, making a diverse playground for all tastes. Feel the wind in your hair on the west coast beaches, or take shelter in the stunning ancient native bush of Te Apiti – Manawatu Gorge, one of the North Island’s most iconic day walks. You can hit the ground running on one of the many cycling, mountain biking or walking tracks, and even the most avid adrenaline junkie will be satisfied with bungee jumping, white water rafting and kite surfing on offer.

The urban city of Palmerston North features an eclectic array of urban art and sculptures, intertwined with a prominent collection of art galleries and a wide array of shopping options, from boutique to designer and everything in between. Discover the arts and sculpture trail, or sit back and enjoy the internationally recognised theatre scene that provides entertainment for all genres.

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Huai Statue

Flights to Palmerston North

Things to do

  • Get In The Game

    Visit the iconic New Zealand Rugby Museum opens in new window and explore the rich history and folklore of this national game. See pieces of sporting history including the oldest All Black jersey and the oldest rugby ball.

  • Hit The White Water

    Enjoy some of New Zealand's premier grade five white-water rafting on the Rangitikei River. River Valley opens in new window runs three hour, twice-daily river rafting tours as well as grade two river tours with a picnic lunch.

  • Explore The Gorge

    Te Apiti opens in new window or the Manawatu Gorge is a magnificent geographical structure formed over thousands of years by the Manawatu River. Hike, horse ride, kayak, cycle and fish your way through its rugged beauty while exploring a sacred Maori site.

  • Visit An Edwardian Town

    Go back in time with a visit to the Edwardian themed town of Feilding opens in new window. Spend your day walking it’s red paved streets, enjoy boutique shopping or take a tour of the Feilding Saleyard and its livestock history dating back to the 1880s.

  • Take A History Lesson

    Visit the cultural heart of Palmerston North city at the Te Manawa opens in new window museum of art, science and history. Learn about the region’s history including the nationally significant Maori taonga (treasures) alongside contemporary art, science and heritage collections.

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Airport information

CBD 5km

Travel time 10 minutes

Taxi Approx NZD $15

Super Shuttle From NZD $18 (bookings required)

City Bus $2.50 (see timetable).

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When to go

Expect a temperate climate in Palmerston North with averages around 22°C in summer (December - February) and 12°C in winter (June - August). While the region receives consistent rain year-round, February and March are the driest months and June is the wettest.

February brings motorsport mayhem with the International Superstock Teams Champs, and the NZ Grand Prix. In March the city hosts the annual Festival of Cultures, a weeklong event includes an iconic world-food-fair, nighttime lantern parade and more. Also in March is the annual Manawatu Summer Shakespeare performance at Massey University. Come October, enjoy local and international music at the International Jazz Festival or join in the annual charity cycling challenge, Tour de Manawatu. A year round A year round calendar of events opens in new window gives plenty of reason to visit, no matter the season.

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Getting around

Local Tranzit opens in new window buses cover a wide range of routes within the city and to Massey University, operating seven days a week. Fares start at NZD$2.50 per person. Services operate during the week and on Saturday between Palmerston North and nearby Fielding (19 kilometres away). With a Capital Connection opens in new window train station there is also a weekday service between Palmerston North and Wellington, plus several national bus services connecting from The Square throughout the North Island.

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