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Before Whanganui was Whanganui, it was Petre, a town built at the mouth of the river in 1940. As one of New Zealand's oldest towns (and the fifth-largest until 1936), it's an amalgamation of Māori culture, heritage buildings – take a 60-minute self-guided tour with the free Whanganui Heritage Guide from the i-SITE – and a thriving local art community.

Despite the occasional flood, the wide Whanganui River is the lifeblood of the town, with regular markets, scenic walkways and old port buildings being turned into glass-art studios. There are few more appealing places to while away a sunny afternoon than the dog-free zone beneath Victoria Ave’s leafy canopy.

Explore Whanganui

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Whanganui.


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