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WhanganuiNew Zealand

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.

Top hotels in Whanganui

Grand Hotel Wanganui
Grand Hotel Wanganui
3 out of 5
Cnr St Hill and Guyton Street, Whanganui
The price is NZ$110 per night from 21 Jan. to 22 Jan.

Situated in Whanganui, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Watt Fountain, Sarjeant Gallery and Whanganui Museum. Durie Hill Elevator and Whanganui Riverboat ...

3.9/5Good! (372 reviews)

"The Grand Hotel was just that - a grand ol’ girl from years gone by. Still in reasonable condition with good food in the bar."…"

Reviewed on 6 Jan. 2021

Grand Hotel Wanganui
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$91 per night from 20 Jan. to 21 Jan.

Situated on the riverwalk, this eco-friendly aparthotel is within 2 miles (3 km) of Sarjeant Gallery, Moutoa Gardens and Queens Park. Whanganui Museum and Whanganui ...

4.2/5Very Good! (90 reviews)

"Nice and quiet and opposite the river. Accommodation dated but good value for money and staff friendly and helpful."…"

Reviewed on 16 Jan. 2021

Anndion Lodge Motel and Function Centre
Kingsgate Hotel The Avenue Wanganui
Kingsgate Hotel The Avenue Wanganui
3 out of 5
379 Victoria Avenue, Whanganui
The price is NZ$116 per night from 21 Jan. to 22 Jan.

Located in the heart of Whanganui, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Watt Fountain, Sarjeant Gallery and Whanganui Museum. Durie Hill Elevator and Whanganui ...

3.9/5Good! (259 reviews)

"Liked the location, walking distance to shops & supermarkets nxt door & across the road. Quiet location of room however could do with a refurbishment."…"

Reviewed on 16 Sep. 2020

Kingsgate Hotel The Avenue 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.

Holiday Rentals in Whanganui

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$91 per night from 20 Jan. to 21 Jan.

Situated on the riverwalk, this eco-friendly aparthotel is within 2 miles (3 km) of Sarjeant Gallery, Moutoa Gardens and Queens Park. Whanganui Museum and Whanganui ...

4.2/5Very Good! (90 reviews)

"Nice and quiet and opposite the river. Accommodation dated but good value for money and staff friendly and helpful."…"

Reviewed on 16 Jan. 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$176 per night from 20 Jan. to 21 Jan.

Located in the heart of Whanganui, this luxury aparthotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Watt Fountain, Sarjeant Gallery and Queens Park. Whanganui Museum and Durie ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (284 reviews)

"Very clean and comfortable. Good location. Would definitely stay again."…"

Reviewed on 7 Jan. 2021

Aotea Motor Lodge
The Signal Box
The Signal Box
3.5 out of 5
70 Papaiti Rd, Papaiti, Whanganui, Manawatu-Wanganui
The price is NZ$170 per night from 20 Jan. to 21 Jan.

Situated on the riverwalk, this apartment building is within 6 mi (10 km) of Sarjeant Gallery, Queens Park and Moutoa Gardens. Whanganui Museum and Virginia ...

4.8/5Exceptional! (11 reviews)

"Great location on the river and very peaceful surroundings but close to town. Loved staying in a building with history."…"

Reviewed on 19 Jun. 2020

The Signal Box
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.
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Reviews of Whanganui

4.2

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
65
5 - Excellent 29.953917050691246%
4 - Good
124
4 - Good 57.142857142857146%
3 - Okay
28
3 - Okay 12.903225806451612%
2 - Disappointing
0
2 - Disappointing 0%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

3 Jun. 2020

Lots to see and do. Stayed two nights, and didn’t manage to see everything we wanted to. Shame we missed the Durie elevator (closed due to Covid restrictions).

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

1 Jun. 2020

Beautiful place , lovely older style buildings , great parks for kids plenty to do and see .

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveller

22 May 2020

No

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

16 Mar. 2020

very pleasing place

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

2 Mar. 2020

The Whanganui Council have done a wonderful job of decorating the Victoria St area, with hanging baskets of flowers and well maintained flower beds, the whole town always looked sparkling clean, no debri ever in sight, it really was a credit to them.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

2 Mar. 2020

Quaint place that's rather old school in how a lot of restaurants, cafes etc were either shut early or not open at all during the weekend! Very arty, but also felt like a retirement village.