Top Choice Museum in Whanganui

Waimarie Centre

The historical displays are interesting, but everyone's here for the PS Waimarie, the last of the Whanganui River paddle steamers. In 1900 she was shipped out from England and paddled the Whanganui until she sank in…
Top Choice Gallery in Whanganui

Sarjeant on the Quay

The elegant old neoclassical Sarjeant Gallery building in Queens Park is closed for earthquake proofing. Until that work is finished, this estimable art collection is housed on Taupo Quay. There's not as much room h…
Top Choice Museum in Whanganui

Whanganui Regional Museum

One of NZ’s better natural-history museums. Māori exhibits include the carved Te Mata o Houroa war canoe and some vicious-looking mere (greenstone clubs). The colonial and wildlife installations are first rate, and …
Top Choice Gallery in Whanganui

New Zeland Glassworks

The pick of Whanganui's many glass studios. Watch glass-blowers working, check out the gallery, take a weekend glass-blowing course ($390) or a one-hour ‘Make a Paperweight’ lesson ($100), or just hang out and warm …
Tower in Whanganui

Durie Hill Elevator

Across City Bridge from downtown Whanganui, this elevator was built with grand visions for Durie Hill’s residential future. A tunnel burrows 213m into the hillside, from where a 1919 elevator rattles 65.8m to the to…
Church in Whanganui

Putiki Church

Across the City Bridge from town and 1km towards the sea is the Putiki Church (aka St Paul’s Memorial Church). It’s unremarkable externally but, just like the faithful pew-fillers, it’s what’s inside that counts: th…
Beach in Whanganui

Kai Iwi Beach

Kai Iwi Beach is a wild ocean frontier, strewn with black sand and masses of broken driftwood. To get here follow Great North Rd 4km north of town, then turn left onto Rapanui Rd and head seawards for 10km.
Tower in Whanganui

War Memorial Tower

Ride the ratchety old Durie Hill Elevator up to the top of Durie Hill, then keep climbing skywards up the austere War Memorial Tower. It's 176 steps and 33.5m to the top, from where there are clear-day views from th…
Viewpoint in Whanganui

Lift Machinery Housing Lookout

High on Durie Hill atop the machinery housing for the Durie Hill Elevator, there's a lookout platform from where the city views are eye-popping. Climb the 41 spiral steps.
Observatory in Whanganui

Ward Observatory

Astro-geeks will be delighted to know that this 24cm telescope is the largest unmodified refractor operating in NZ. Roll up at 7.30pm on Friday nights to gaze at galaxies far, far away.