Welcome to Whanganui

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.

Top experiences in Whanganui

Amazing hotels and hostels

We've pre-picked the best hotels, hostels and bed and breakfasts to make your stay as enjoyable as possible.

Travel guides

Starting at $27.99

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Whanganui activities

$964.45 Multi-day & Extended Tours

5 Day Coromandel Explorer

Day 1 Auckland to Coromandel Township As you leave the Auckland city boundary the landscape changes to lush farmland. You'll pass the fertile Hauraki Plains - one of New Zealand's largest dairy producing regions. Pass the Thames Estuary arriving into the old gold mining town of Thames, there are two different routes to the east coast of the Coromandel. Either directly over the Coromandel Ranges or north to Coromandel Township along the Pohutukawa Coast (part of the Pacific Coast Highway)  Overnight: Coromandel Court MotelDay 2 Coromandel Township Named after HMS Coromandel which visited the bay in 1820 to collect spars Coromandel Town has had quite an industrious history. Although the timber trade was providing the towns inhabitants with work in the early 1800's, it was the gold rush of the 1850's that contributed to the towns success and growth. Old buildings from these pioneering times can still be seen in the picturesque little town and there is also a gold mining museum.  Overnight: Coromandel Court MotelDay 3 Coromandel Township to Whitianga The short drive from Coromandel Township to Whitianga takes you via the scenic coastline of Whangapoua Harbour and the Kuaotuna beach. For beach lovers there are plenty of side roads to often deserted golden sand beaches and bays. The summer months bring visitors to enjoy fishing, surf-casting and swimming along the palm fringed beaches.  Overnight: Admiralty Lodge Day 4 Explore Whitianga Captain Cook arrived there in 1769 to observe the transit of Mercury and hence the bay was named. This small bustling town once played a major part in the kauri logging industry with over 150 million metres of timber being exported between 1830 and the end of the century. Explore the spectacular coastline of Te Whanganui-a-hei Marine Reserve, including its most famous feature the hidden paradise of Cathedral Cove.  On board you’ll peer through the glass bottom of the boat enjoying amazing views of the diverse marine life that inhabit the reserve. Overnight: Admiralty Lodge Day 5 Whitianga to Matamata Head south along the Peninsula, passing the idyllic seaside communities of Hahei, Hotwater Beach and Tairua before turning inland. Once you reach Matamata you are in hobbit country and the route takes you to the town of Matamata where you can visit the the film locations made famous in the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies at Hobbiton Movie Set and Farm Tours (optional extra).  Your drive continues north west crossing the dairy country of the Hauraki Plains before arriving at State Highway 1 and home to Auckland.

$37.97 Tours & Sightseeing

Half-Day Whanganui Sightseeing Tour

Following a morning pickup at your accommodation in Whanganui, transfer to the Whanganui tourist office for 9:30am to meet your guide and begin your 2.5-hour tour. First, take a seat in your minibus and spin onward to the Durie Hill Tower. On arrival, take the elevator (own expense) to the top and admire panoramic views over Whanganui’s rooftops to the Tasman Sea, Mt. Ruapehu, and Mt Taranaki.From here, explore local landmarks including the Bason Botanical Gardens, the 19th-century military redoubt, Virginia Lake’s winter gardens and waterlily fountain, Wanganui Collegiate, and the Whanganui Royal Opera House — widely considered among the town’s more important sites of interest. Listen as your guide sheds light on Whanganui’s colorful history and heritage, then return in comfort to your Whanganui hotel to conclude your sightseeing tour.

$134.43 Outdoor Activities

Matiu Somes Eco Trek

Once a traditional pa site of Te Whanganui-a-Tara Maori, the island became a quarantine station, an internment camp, and a military defence position, it now seeks to protect and preserve New Zealand native flora and fauna.On the Island you guide will escort you as you circle the island on foot. Somes is now home to rare native birds including North Island robins, fluttering shearwaters and kakariki, a colony of little blue penguins and 6 species of native reptiles including the mysterious tuatara. Your guide will bring the history alive and help you find these shy wild creatures.Please note you will be asked to open and empty all bags etc for pest control purposes. Anything we take to the island we must also remove.