Hotels in Wanganui (North Island, New Zealand)
Hotels in Wanganui
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Whanganui New Zealand, River Town with Beaches and Trails
Explore the Whanganui River with a canoe trip, hike, or jet boat. Buy local produce and baked goods at a traditional New Zealand town market. Sunbathe, swim, fish, and surf at one of three local beaches. Learn the area’s regional history at one of the town’s fantastic museums.
Fun on the River
Situated on the west coast of the North Island of New Zealand and surrounded by mountains, Whanganui is near the mouth of the Whanganui River. The river plays a vital role in the town’s history and modern life. It is the longest navigable river in New Zealand, and is the perfect spot for cyclists, hikers, canoeists, and day-trippers to find adventure. Combine a hotel stay at the lodge, a unique river accommodation, and canoe to the legendary, Bridge to Nowhere, hidden in the Whanganui National Park. Kowhai Park offers family-fun with the Tost Train Railway, as well as a pirate ship, water maze, and octopus swing. Paddlesteamer Waimarie is the only operating, coal-fired paddle steamer in New Zealand, and guests can choose one of several river cruises, including a two-hour cruise where guests hear stories of Waimarie while taking in the natural scenery. A Friday night cruise features cocktails and live music for a fun and relaxing evening. The Whanganui River Traders Market is located on the downtown riverbank and is historically where Māori people traded their produce. Here, shoppers can browse and purchase artwork, garden plants, baked goods, organic fruits and vegetables, and more.
Outdoor Fun in the Sun
Nature lovers and outdoor sports enthusiasts come to Whanganui to seek out adventure and fun on both land and water. Virginia Lake is an outdoor garden park where guests can leisurely stroll around the lake while on the lookout for the Peter Pan statue, as well as birdlife. Open year round, guests marvel to see the Higginbottom Fountain lit up at night. Explore the Virginia Lake Bird Aviary which has 400 birds from 32 species, representative of many different countries, including Australia, Indonesia, Afghanistan, India, Burma, China, and Japan. The “free-flight” design of the park allows guests up close access to birds like parrots, pheasants, and yellow and red crowned kakariki. Cycling trails are abundant and there is a trail to suit every skill level, from crazy adventurous to relaxed riders wanting to enjoy the scenery. On the Mountains to Sea Cycle Trail, guests will ride approximately five days to complete the trail. Hotel accommodations are available along the way including lodges and campgrounds. Other cycling trails include: Araheke Mountain Bike Park, Hylton Pit Mountain Bike Park, Lismore Forest, and Matipo Park which offers trails for cyclists as well as walkers and horseback riding. Tracks at this park are steep and most are grade-4 and above, so be cautious.
That Beach Life
Whanganui offers three distinctly different beaches which are perfect for different visitors for different reasons, from families to fishermen, and beachcombers to surfers. Kai Iwi Beach is 14 km west of Whanganui and is the perfect, traditional beach for relaxing in the sun. It’s safe for all ocean activities, including swimming and fishing. Castlecliff Beach is located just a short drive from Whanganui, and is popular amongst tourists. This is Whanganui’s prime surfing beach, and performs best at high tide, when visitors can enjoy watching surfers catch the big waves. Playgrounds and a skate park are also located nearby. Located in a more remote area, South Beach is well known for its excellent fishing and surfing. This is an untamed beach where a 4x4 is recommended for full beach access. Adventurous visitors will love exploring the off-road trails.
Historical Sites and Museums
Visit Durie Hill War Memorial Tower and Elevator, which was built in 1919 and is the only public underground elevator in New Zealand. At 66 metres high, guests enjoy panoramic views of the Tasman Sea, Mount Ruapehu, and Mount Taranaki. Just a short walk from city centre, visitors can pay respect at the official memorial site of the 513 people from the area who died in the First World War. After a visit to the memorial, learn more about the area’s important history at the Whanganui Regional Museum. Featuring a treasure trove of information, collections date back all the way to 1890. The museum is famous for its Taonga Maori Collection, which features carvings, ornaments, garments, and weaponry. It also houses one of the most extensive collections of paintings by New Zealand’s leading painter, Gottfried Lindauer. This wonderful museum is home to the largest permanent collection of moa bones in the world. On the main road in to Whanganui to visit these amazing attractions, guests will find a plethora of hotels, motels, and inns to lay their heads at night. Bed & Breakfasts are located off the beaten path, and hotels and lodges are conveniently situated near the Whanganui Airport.
Hotels in Wanganui
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