The 10 Best Things to Do in Whanganui, New Zealand

January 2, 2018 Russell Mellin

Whanganui (/ˈhwɒŋənuːi/; Māori: [ɸaŋanui]), also spelt Wanganui, is a city on the west coast of the North Island of New Zealand. The Whanganui River, New Zealand's longest navigable waterway, runs from Mount Tongariro to the sea. Whanganui is part of the Manawatu-Wanganui region.
Restaurants in Whanganui

1. Virginia Lake

Great North Road, Whanganui, New Zealand
Excellent
68%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 327 reviews

Virginia Lake

Reviewed By Chris T - Auckland, New Zealand

No matter what time of the year you visit, Virginia Lake has something magical to offer. Lovely cool breezes in the summertime, gorgeous coloured leaves in the autumn, icy water in winter and ducklings in the springtime. Easy walking around the lakeside, fernery/greenhouse aleays a delight, Fountain is spectacular. Bird aviary offers an array if noisy birds to look at and nearby playground is great for the kids.

2. Bason Botanic Gardens

552 Rapanui Road, Whanganui 4574, New Zealand +64 6-349 0001
Excellent
70%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 132 reviews

Bason Botanic Gardens

Reviewed By santo t - Auckland, New Zealand

This spacious garden has plenty, beautiful flowers, scenic landscape, lovely water ponds, conservatories, bush walks, spacious parks, all you can find here. A place for the whole family, walking, sitting, physical exercise, bbq facility, flowers admirers, you name it. Its colourful background used in many events. It is a botanical garden given by the generosity of the late Stanley Bason, and then run by the Whanganui District Council in partnership with the Bason Botanic Gardens Trust, brilliant colaboration. Location approx 11 km from Wanganui city centre on the way to Kai Iwi Beach, off the main road SH 3 to Hawera.

3. Kowhai Park

Whanganui, New Zealand
Excellent
71%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 189 reviews

Kowhai Park

Reviewed By Janine45 - Wellington

I only passed by as i didnt have our grandchildren with us on our visit to Whanganui. Nevertheless it was obvious to see this park would be a childs dream come true. Old and newly updated Playgrounds and splashpads and picnic areas with big trees for shade.
A Must go to with children if visiting.!

4. Whanganui River

Whanganui, New Zealand +64 800 862 743
Excellent
61%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 253 reviews

Whanganui River

Reviewed By Baldbutsexy - Stretton-On-Dunsmore, United Kingdom

Worth a drive to the river mouth to see the black beach with bleached driftwood. Not for swimming mind you although some locals madly did.
Up stream out of the city is pleasant with plenty of places to pull over and go for a wander.
Did not go for more than a few km upstream so this review is based ton that experience.

5. Whanganui i-SITE Visitor Information Centre

31 Taupo Quay, Whanganui 4500, New Zealand +64 6-349 0508
Excellent
69%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 129 reviews

Whanganui i-SITE Visitor Information Centre

The Whanganui i-SITE Visitor Centre is your 'one stop travel shop' for tours, activities and accommodation in Whanganui and throughout New Zealand. Our friendly staff delight in welcoming visitors and locals to the heart of the city's historic old town. Visit the local experts for free, impartial and comprehensive travel advice, information, maps, brochures and bookings.

Reviewed By jobst56 - Hamburg, Germany

We got all the information we were looking for plus more: They have a small model of town and surroundings and beautiful posters on Maori history.

6. Durie Hill Elevator

Whanganui, New Zealand
Excellent
50%
Good
42%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 310 reviews

Durie Hill Elevator

Reviewed By EnClair - Randers

A nice cheap experience. A interesting story that is briefly mentioned on some boards. The ride up is like a ride in Disneyland.

7. Quartz Museum

8 Bates Street, Whanganui 4500, New Zealand +64 6-348 5555
Excellent
96%
Good
4%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 42 reviews

Quartz Museum

Reviewed By mebNewZealand - New Zealand

Rick Rudd is one of New Zealand's true artist potters. This collection reveals the subtle development of his skills and vision over the span of his working career and is both beautiful and intriguing. The accompanying Exhibitions, both contemporary and historical, are equally impressive. Mr Rudd's personal collection of New Zealand ceramics not only reveals the high quality of work that has always existed in New Zealand but also brings back to life the many potters and ceramic artists who once played an important role in the development of New Zealand's ceramic world.

8. New Zealand Glassworks

2 Rutland Street, Whanganui 4500, New Zealand +64 6-927 6803
Excellent
72%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 49 reviews

New Zealand Glassworks

Reviewed By FMW253 - Tauranga, New Zealand

We watched glass chandelier drops being made by visiting artists and discovered they were headed for our home town - Tauranga. Lovely pieces on display; great to be able to watch work in progress; had a very informative explanation about the Glassworks. We arrived at lunch when no work was underway so returned later and stayed for around an hour. Well worth a visit ....

9. Wanganui Winter Garden

113 Great North Road, Whanganui, New Zealand
Excellent
72%
Good
19%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
2%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 41 reviews

Wanganui Winter Garden

The Winter Gardens is an all-year-round attraction with colourful displays whatever the season or weather. Adjoining the Winter Gardens is the Art Garden which combines an intriguing blend of sculpture and garden art.

Reviewed By Mike T - Whitstable, United Kingdom

A small but beautiful and colorful garden. Spot the camouflaged sculptures and watch out for the alligator or crocodile lurking in the corner waiting for you to make a wrong move. Exit into an extraordinary garden of modernist sculptures which I always find intriguing and thought provoking. In particular the head poking out of a pot. I feel I out to break it and release the poor soul trapped in it. Not a fan of precocious art but this location gets my vote every time.

10. Whanganui Regional Museum

62 Ridgway St, Whanganui 4500, New Zealand +64 6-349 1110
Excellent
54%
Good
40%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 59 reviews

Whanganui Regional Museum

Reviewed By doctorj42 - Hove, UK

Compared to other regional museums, this is a good one. It's small and focused on the region, including settlement of the area. There's a great collection of Gottfried Landauer portraits of Maori leaders. There's also a touching exhibit on WWI that follows the path of one soldier, Billy, through to his enlistment and his sad passing. Interestingly, he took photos of places and peers, although it was not permitted, and they make his story more real. Entry is free. The gift shop has a nice collection of local art work for sale. I highly recommend a visit here. It's centrally located, just across from the War Memorial and down from Queen's Garden.

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