Top things to do

Top Choice Burgers in Whanganui

Citadel

Looking for the best burgers on the North Island? Community-minded Citadel, 10 minutes' drive from Whanganui centre, is a contender. Alongside classics, the Eh Monster is a feat of endurance. Order it (alongside loa…
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 it was shipped out from England and paddled the Whanganui until it sank ingl…
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 Cafe in Whanganui

Mischief on Guyton

With cheeky signage and a flip calendar of quotes not suitable to print but good for a laugh with your coffee, Mischief on Guyton is true to its name. Step inside (or through to the courtyard) for a combined brunch …
Top Choice Cafe in Whanganui

Yellow House Cafe

Detour from the main drag for funky tunes, butterscotch pancakes, local art and courtyard tables beneath a chunky-trunk cherry blossom tree. Super-friendly staff bend over backwards to recommend what to do in town. …
Top Choice Gallery in Whanganui

New Zealand Glassworks

The pick of Whanganui's many glass studios. Watch glass-blowers working, check out the gallery, take a one-day glass-blowing course ($290, four people max) or a 30-minute ‘Make a Paperweight’ lesson ($80), or just h…
Top Choice Museum in Whanganui

Whanganui Regional Museum

When we visited, the original Queens Park museum was closed for earthquake strengthening but open for business on Ridgway St. Here you'll get a glimpse of one of NZ’s better natural-history museums, including Māori …
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. Beyond an entrance lined with Māori carvings, a tunnel burrows 213m into the hillside, from…
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, the ruin of a gun emplacement from WWII and masses of driftwood (you might see locals collecting it for their next 'piece'). There's also a big playgro…