Wanganui is now Whanganui, but give all reference during our visit was the ‘w’ version Wanganui survives for this synopsis. Wanganui is a pretty terrific place and has now stopped being the poor cousin to Palmerston Nth or any other centre. Just 20 years ago Wanganui was a struggling and typical provincial centre. Today the place is a ‘with it’ commercial and social centre. These upgrades now added to the classy schools and gardens. Plus, a main street to die for and increasingly invigorated river front.

Wanganui continues service a healthy rural market.

In the early years the town was a major military centre during the Land Wars of the 1860s, although local Māori at Putiki remained friendly to the town's settlers.

Cook's Gardens are a major sporting venue, used for cricket, cycling, and athletics. On January 27, 1962, a world record time for running the mile was set by Peter Snell on the grass track at the gardens.

Tourism is now becoming a major income stream for the district and the local Council has undertaken a number of tourism initiatives.

In 1995, Moutoa Gardens in Wanganui, known to local Māori as Pakaitore, were occupied for 79 days in a mainly peaceful protest by the Wanganui iwi over land claims.

Wanganui has a number of memorials including a number at the Moutoa Gardens. At going to print we had yet to determine where the names of the 1914-1918 war deaths are on display/recorded.

Wanganui has a number of Museums, of which the city museum gives one of the best concise Maori history presentations.

The churches, with the exception of the central Presbyterian Church disappoint architecturally, but the Catholic Church does make the modern version work.

Wanganui has a number of ‘old’ hotels but Grand is the stand-out.

There is a lot to discover and to allow a minimum of two days is warranted.



Fireplace Dump Station
General Store Bottled Gas
Internet Caravan
Camping 4WD
Kitchen Facilities Disabled access
Laundry Toilets
Campervans Accommodation
Meals Airport
Pets Allowed Boat Ramp
Telephone Picnic Area
Roadside Rest Area Electricity
Scenic Swimming
Tap water   Thermal Area
Stream Water   Walking tracks
Rotary Club Lions Club
Gymnasium Gardens
Winery Whitewater Rafting
Surfing   Skydiving
Skiing   Scenic Flights
Postal Service Police
Movie Location   Mountain Biking
Kayaking Jet Boating
Information Hospital
Hang Gliding Golf Course