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๐Ÿš— self-drive itinerary

๐Ÿ›๏ธ minimum 2 night stay recommended

๐Ÿฝ๏ธ dining suggestions offered

๐Ÿ“… visit any time of year


A great place to rediscover inner peace and reconnect with who you really are during your trip. Immerse yourself in local art, culture, history and the legendary spirit of the majestic Whanganui River or meandering Rangitikei River, two of New Zealand's mighty rivers.


Highlights can include:

  • explore Whanganuiโ€™s unique heritage when you visit The Durie Hill Tower and underground Elevator - plenty of photo opportunities here ๐Ÿ“ธ
  • stroll around Virginia Lake (Rotokawau), one of Whanganui's premier parks featuring a 25 minute woodland walk โ›ฒ
  • the Bason Botanic Gardens offer relaxation, recreation and the magic of plants.  An architectural gem in a rural setting ๐ŸŒฑ
  • get a taste of the Whanganui National Park on a scenic experience, that combines the thrills of jet boating with a canoe safari ๐Ÿž๏ธ 
  • when you know where to look the magical and extremely intriguing Whitecliffs Boulders are worth the effort and a must for geologists 
  • raft to secluded pools and runs on the magnificent Rangitikei River and take the opportunity to fly fish for trout ๐ŸŽฃ

  • delighting children and the perfect place for a 'big kid' moment, riverside Kowhai Park entertains and will surely bring a smile to your face ๐Ÿ‘ช
  • experience the Whanganui River's scenery and history with an authentic cruise aboard the iconic Waimarie Paddle Steamer 
  • journey into the hearts and minds of the people of Whanganui at the Whanganui Regional Museum ๐Ÿ–ผ๏ธ
  • take an exciting one-day glass-blowing course, or simply admire the talented work showcased at New Zealand Glassworks (Chronicle Glass) 
  • Whanganui's best kept secret, Kai Iwi Beach is a safe beach and one of the West Coast's most stunning, rugged beaches ๐ŸŒŠ
  • visit the large concrete bridge known as The Bridge to Nowhere in the middle of lush native forest inside Whanganui National Park 
  • enjoyed safe and fun family adventures along the Grand Canyons of the Rangitikei River with the Mangaweka Adventure Company ๐Ÿ›ถ
  • at Sarjeant Gallery find over 4 centuries of art, gifted by Henry Sarjeant, who left his fortune to found a gallery "for the inspiration of ourselves and those who come after us" The collection holds more than 8,000 artworks ๐ŸŽจ
  • Ride the extreme flying fox, experience our mighty 80 metre bungy or feel the thrill of a 50 metre freefall in Mokai Gravity Canyon (currently closed) 
  • a place of pilgrimage for many, Jerusalem is a serene and quiet destination along the mighty Whanganui River where you must visit a The Sisters of Compassion Catholic Convent โ›ช

  • crammed with an eclectic mix of items, spend Saturday morning like a local at the River Traders and Whanganui Farmers Market ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐ŸŒพ๐Ÿšœ

  • if you are an experienced horse rider, looking for a fast-paced half day horse trek in New Zealand then weโ€™ve got just the trek for you in the Rangitikei ๐Ÿด

  • one of the most beautifully decorated churches in New Zealand, St Paul's Memorial Church, Putiki is a special taonga (treasure) filled with beautiful and intricate Maori carvings and tukutuku (wall panels) โ›ช

  • experience exhilarating grade 5 rapids on a white water rafting trip on the Rangitikei, or take a full day scenic trip that's fun for the whole family

  • public rides on Mable, the number 12 tram, a fully restored, authentic electric tram from 1908 are available on set days throughout the year ๐Ÿšƒ



๐Ÿ“ # of Visitors 3.0

๐Ÿš Beaches 3.5

๐ŸŒฆ๏ธ Chance of Rain 3.5

๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ‘ฆโ€๐Ÿ‘ฆ Family Fun 3.5

๐Ÿ›’ Shopping 5.5

๐Ÿฝ๏ธ Food + Wine 3.5

๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ LGBTQI+ friendly ๐Ÿ‘

Note: the highest possible score is an 8.0


๐ŸŽฅvideo courtesy of Visit Whanganui on YouTube



Length of stay
  • Sit back and relax. We've planned it all for you.


    Day 1 : Arrive in the Whanganui + Rangitikei

    You'll travel to the Whanganui + Rangitikei, either by car, coach, or by flying into Whanganui's Airport. Upon arrival you'll check in to your accommodation, settle in and get acquainted with your surroundings for the next 2 nights.


    That afternoon make the most of your time here by taking in the sights of Whanganui visiting popular Virginia Lake, wander through heritage rich and extremely picturesque main street where you'll check out the amazing New Zealand Glassworks items on display before venturing across the bridge and up Durie Hill Tower and Elevator for views over the city and surrounding area. If you're lucky you'll arrive in time for a cruise aboard the classic Waimarie Paddle Steamer cruise too.


    Later that evening we'll suggest the best places to dine to ensure you're ready for your big day tomorrow.


    Day 2 : dive in to one of New Zealand's best river experiences

    As you only have one day up your sleeve we want to ensure your adventure will take you into the most scenic parts of the Whanganui River National Park where you can explore sights and sounds of the river at your own pace. 


    Start by jet boating up the Whanganui River and then walk 40-minutes through the lush and beautiful native bush reminiscent of what New Zealand was like long before people settled here, to find The Bridge to Nowhere.  Enjoy a picnic and learn the history of this special place, before wandering back to the river to re-join the jet boat to the next part of today's adventure - drifting back down the river by canoe.  It will feel like you've left the rest of the world behind as you enjoy the peace and tranquility the Whanganui River provides.  Feel free to stop and explore points of interest along the way - there is no rush, it's your day to explore, but you may want to save time to spend at the culturally rich village of Jerusalem on your way back to your accommodation.


    Alternatively, if you're keen to try out a grade 5 white water rafting experience, you might want to set aside today for the thrill of a world class trip on theRangitikei River instead.  With 10 major Grade 4-5 rapids on a 12 kilometre run, plus numerous smaller rapids, there is plenty to get excited about.


    After your day, we've arranged for you to delight in dinner and celebrate your last night in this region dining on delicious food, served with hint of distinctly New Zealand hospitality of course.


    Day 3 : Depart Whanganui + Rangitikei

    Depending on the direction you're travelling, you could break up your journey by venturing to the wondrous Whitecliffs Boulderswhich will give you plenty of fresh air and give you plenty of opportunities for selfies in a surreal natural environment, or take the opportunity to see St Paul's Memorical Church Putiki, which looks unremarkable on the outside, but it's what on the inside that counts - the interior is magnificent.  As always, we'll let you know the best way to get from this region to the next part of your New Zealand trip, wherever you want that to be.