Whanganui

Travel Guide
Whanganui

Upscale Whanganui awaits: its riverfront, museums, spas and more!

A scenic riverfront, spas and sights from Virginia Lake to Castlecliff Beach—discover it all in 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.

Where to stay in Whanganui

Burwood Manor Motel
Burwood Manor Motel
2.5 out of 5
63-65 Dublin Street, Whanganui
The price is NZ$152 per night from 24 Jul. to 25 Jul.
Stay at this business-friendly motel in Whanganui. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking and daily housekeeping. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the comfy beds ...
4.3/5 Excellent! (142 reviews)
"Within 5 minutes to everywhere we needed to be."

Reviewed on 4 May 2022

Burwood Manor Motel
Kingsgate Hotel The Avenue Wanganui
Kingsgate Hotel The Avenue Wanganui
3 out of 5
379 Victoria Avenue, Whanganui, 5001
Stay at this 3-star business-friendly hotel in Whanganui. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking and breakfast. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the room service ...
3.8/5 Good! (319 reviews)
"Liked the position, the balcony was nice , lovely self of pillows. Every thing was clean and room made up nice. However, road very noisy and shower over bath a bit dated and shabby and not easy to get in and out of. Bath needs to go and be replaced by modern shower box. Staff not very friendly on ..."

Reviewed on 2 May 2022

Kingsgate Hotel The Avenue Wanganui
Aotea Motor Lodge
Aotea Motor Lodge
4.5 out of 5
390 Victoria Avenue, Whanganui, 4500
The price is NZ$191 per night from 25 Jul. to 26 Jul.
Stay at this 4.5-star luxury aparthotel in Whanganui. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking and a business centre. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the comfy ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (315 reviews)
"The team at Aotea Lodge always make us feel very welcome. We had an overnight delay and they were so kind and helpful. Everything about the unit is excellent - we are really happy to be back after 2.5 years!"

Reviewed on 14 Apr. 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.
Aotea Motor Lodge
Aotea Motor Lodge
4.5 out of 5
390 Victoria Avenue, Whanganui, 4500
The price is NZ$191 per night from 25 Jul. to 26 Jul.
Stay at this 4.5-star luxury aparthotel in Whanganui. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking and a business centre. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the comfy ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (315 reviews)
"The team at Aotea Lodge always make us feel very welcome. We had an overnight delay and they were so kind and helpful. Everything about the unit is excellent - we are really happy to be back after 2.5 years!"

Reviewed on 14 Apr. 2022

Aotea Motor Lodge
Unwind at The Dunes Wanganui
Unwind at The Dunes Wanganui
Whanganui, Manawatu - Wanganui
Stay at this golf holiday home in Whanganui. Enjoy WiFi, a hot tub and on-site parking. Popular attractions Castlecliff Beach and South Beach are located nearby. ...
4.9/5 Exceptional! (114 reviews)
Fantastic
"We had a fantastic stay and particularly enjoyed the spa with epic views. Thanks so much!"

Reviewed on 13 Jun. 2022

Unwind at The Dunes Wanganui
Beautiful old villa apartment in charming setting.
Beautiful old villa apartment in charming setting.
Whanganui, Manawatu - Wanganui
The price is NZ$192 per night from 26 Jun. to 27 Jun.
Stay at this family-friendly apartment in Whanganui. Enjoy free WiFi, on-site parking and a garden. Our guests praise the quiet rooms and the overall value in ...
4.6/5 Wonderful! (26 reviews)
Awesome place. Great location and easy to find. House was very clean and well looked after.
"Awesome stay"

Reviewed on 25 Apr. 2022

Beautiful old villa apartment in charming setting.
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