Whanganui

Travel Guide
Whanganui

This charming city has long been known for its abundance of cultural and historical delights as well as its gorgeous riverside location.

Fertile soils, a temperate climate and plenty of fresh water made Wanganui one of New Zealand’s most successful Māori settlements during the 1800s. Nowadays, Wanganui is best known for its great museums, riverboat cruises and pleasant surrounding countryside.

Discover the area’s indigenous past with a visit to the Whanganui Regional Museum. Here you can see the spectacular Te Mata o Hoturoa War Canoe. This was constructed from a single tree and is covered with exquisite carvings. View more historical objects and learn about the cultures of the Māori tribes. You will also find a range of interactive displays that take a look at some of the North Island’s indigenous animals and plants.

If you like the examples of Māori art in the museum, head to Sarjeant Gallery where you can see fascinating tribal artworks. You will also see a range of local landscapes by the artists Domenico Piola, William Etty and Lelio Orsi, among others.

From here, head to the waterfront Chronicle Glass Studio. Watch as professional glass blowers shape intricate vases, or try it out for yourself during a 1-day course. Create a colorful paperweight to take home as a souvenir.

A short stroll across the park will take you to the Whanganui Riverboat Centre. Here, several displays explore the history of the river, but the highlight is the restored boat, the Waimarie. Known for being the last of the paddle steamboats used in Wanganui, the Waimarie sank in 1952 and lay submerged for 41 years. After a painstaking restoration, this historic vessel is once again taking passengers on gentle cruises along the tranquil river.

Wanganui has a range of accommodation options to meet different requirements. A number of restaurants and hotels in the town serve hearty local cuisine.

Fly into Wanganui’s local airport or drive from Auckland in around 5 hours and Wellington within 3 hours. It’s worth staying a few days in Wanganui to explore some of the pretty surrounding countryside and take in its rich cultural heritage.

Astral Motel
Astral Motel
3 out of 5
46 Somme Parade, Whanganui
The price is NZ$105 per night from 24 Jan. to 25 Jan.
Located in the heart of Whanganui, this motel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Moutoa Gardens, Sarjeant Gallery and Queens Park. Whanganui Museum and Whanganui Riverboat ...
3.9/5 Good! (233 reviews)
"This property badly needs up grading it is fairly run down though with a good clean it would probably lift it abit..needs blinds on all the windows the curtains are no sufficiant to keep the rooms dark at night..mold in the shower..taps need tightening in the kitchen and bathroom..general up keep ..."

Reviewed on 1 Dec. 2021

Astral Motel
Kingsgate Hotel The Avenue Wanganui
Kingsgate Hotel The Avenue Wanganui
3 out of 5
379 Victoria Avenue, Whanganui
The price is NZ$108 per night from 17 Feb. to 18 Feb.
Located in the heart of Whanganui, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Watt Fountain, Sarjeant Gallery and Whanganui Museum. Virginia Lake and Durie Hill Elevator ...
3.8/5 Good! (309 reviews)
"The property looked newly painted and very clean. The beds were comfortable. The bar and restaurant were lovely and great service and food. The only downside was the room was very hot even at night with no air conditioning, even with the door open and fan on we sweated all night."

Reviewed on 16 Dec. 2021

Kingsgate Hotel The Avenue Wanganui
Aotea Motor Lodge
Aotea Motor Lodge
4.5 out of 5
390 Victoria Avenue, Whanganui
The price is NZ$181 per night from 23 Jan. to 24 Jan.
Located in the heart of Whanganui, this luxury aparthotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Watt Fountain, Virginia Lake and Sarjeant Gallery. Queens Park and Whanganui ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (307 reviews)
"Very clean and well presented. Good facilities in the room."

Reviewed on 19 Jan. 2022

Aotea Motor Lodge
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Anndion Lodge Motel and Function Centre
Anndion Lodge Motel and Function Centre
3.5 out of 5
143 Anzac Parade, Whanganui
The price is NZ$141 per night from 23 Jan. to 24 Jan.
Located in Whanganui East, this aparthotel is within 2 miles (3 km) of Sarjeant Gallery, Moutoa Gardens and Queens Park. Whanganui Museum and Whanganui Riverboat ...
4.1/5 Very Good! (103 reviews)
"Found my experience most enjoyable"

Reviewed on 25 Jul. 2021

Anndion Lodge Motel and Function Centre
Aotea Motor Lodge
Aotea Motor Lodge
4.5 out of 5
390 Victoria Avenue, Whanganui
The price is NZ$181 per night from 23 Jan. to 24 Jan.
Located in the heart of Whanganui, this luxury aparthotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Watt Fountain, Virginia Lake and Sarjeant Gallery. Queens Park and Whanganui ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (307 reviews)
"Very clean and well presented. Good facilities in the room."

Reviewed on 19 Jan. 2022

Aotea Motor Lodge
Unwind at The Dunes Wanganui
Unwind at The Dunes Wanganui
137 Karaka Street, Castlecliff, Whanganui, Manawatu - Wanganui
Located in Castlecliff, this golf holiday home is 1 mi (1.6 km) from Castlecliff Beach and within 6 miles (10 km) of Virginia Lake and Whanganui Museum. Watt ...
4.9/5 Exceptional! (94 reviews)
Well worth it
"I was hesitant to give a positive review, because this might help Julie get more bookings which means it might not be available when I want to re-visit :-) - which I definitely will !"

Reviewed on 10 Dec. 2021

Unwind at The Dunes Wanganui
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Top activities in Whanganui