Gateway to the natural highs of the lower North Island

Palmerston North and the Manawatu region are a playground of adventure and discovery, offering an authentic Kiwi experience. 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. 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, where you'll find one of the North Island’s most loved 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 city of Palmerston North features an eclectic array of urban art and sculptures, a prominent collection of art galleries and loads of shopping options, from boutique to designer and everything in between. Discover the arts and sculpture trail, or sample a show at one of the venues that create the city's dynamic theatre scene.

Back to top

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 the beloved national game. See pieces of sporting history including the oldest All Blacks jersey and the oldest rugby ball.

  • Hit the white water

    Enjoy some of New Zealand's premier white-water rafting on the Rangitikei River. River Valley opens in new window offers a range of experiences from half-day, Grade 5 rafting adventures to full-day scenic family trips if you want a more relaxing experience. 

  • 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 its 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.

Back to top

Airport information

Palmerston North Airport opens in new window (PMR) 

Distance to city centre 5km

Taxi A taxi to the city centre takes about 10 minutes and costs around NZD $20.

Shuttle Supershuttle opens in new window transfers cost around NZD $18 – book ahead.

Bus The Air Connector opens in new window bus service connects the airport with Fielding and Palmerston North eight times daily, and once on Saturdays. InterCity opens in new window buses travel from the airport to central Palmerston North every weekday. 

Back to top

When to go

Expect a temperate climate in Palmerston North with averages around 22°C in summer (DecemberFebruary) and 12°C in winter (JuneAugust). While the region experiences 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 week-long event including a world food fair and a nocturnal lantern parade. 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. There are events all through the year opens in new window so there’s plenty of reason to visit, no matter the season.

Back to top

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. Services operate during the week and on Saturday between Palmerston North and nearby Fielding, 19km 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.

Back to top