The types of vacations that you can have when visiting Manawatu are endless. You might want to hit the trail and spend lots of time outdoors, taking in the beautiful scenery. Your tastes may be more laid back, and you are looking for a chance to unwind. Or you could be traveling with your family and looking for some ways to entertain them without hurting your wallet. Manawatu has all of that and more!
If your goal is to get lots of fresh air and exercise, you have come to the right place. Manawatu and the surrounding areas have some of the most beautiful scenic hiking trails and beaches that you will ever see.
For an easy 1 kilometer walk with a lot to see, visit the Manawatu Gorge Loop. It is an easy hike that allows you to overlook the Te Apiti Manawatu Gorge. You will see a lot of native plant life, and you will get a chance to look out over the famous wind farm.
If you are looking for a nice walk with the family, then the Victoria Esplanade Bush Tracks could be the way to go. It is in the middle of the city, and it has many tracks from which to choose. You will have a great time with your family looking at a variety of birds and learning about all the trees that are native to the area.
If you want to be outside but need a little more speed than a hike, then you will be glad to know we have some fantastic bike trails. You can take a shuttle to the top of the Arapuke Mountain Bike Park, where you will have your choice of over 30 kilometers of trails to take you back down. The trails were purposely made for bikers, so there are difficulty levels ranging from grade 2 all the way to grade 6 for our more experienced riders.
Sand and Surf
What vacation would be complete without a trip to the beach? If you want to stay out of the crowds and relax with your family, you should head over to Himatangi Beach. It is a small settlement that offers some of the most beautiful sunsets you will ever witness. It is also an attractive area for surfers. You’ll just want to lay back and watch or build sandcastles with the kids. Or, you could surf and catch a wave or two yourself!
There are a ton of places to fish, as well. Tararua County has areas where the ocean spills into the rivers, making them a magnet for brown trout. The Akitio River has fishing charters. Many anglers like to come to enjoy the tranquil fishing available along the banks of the many rivers running through the area.
Relax and Enjoy
Not everyone wants to be active on their vacation. If your idea of fun is the scenery and taking in a few attractions, then you will not be left out in Manawatu. Beautiful gardens, world-class dining, and a dedication to the arts are just some of the things you will find while you are here.
Take the Scenic Route
Driving through the rural villages that make the area so attractive is a great way to get acquainted with Manawatu. You can spend some time visiting our residents and seeing their farms and way of life. There are enough country roads to allow you to explore for days!
If you are out on a Friday, then be sure to spend your morning in Fielding. It has been called New Zealand’s most beautiful town. On Fridays, there is a traditional farmer’s market you can go to. You can spend some time trying some local foods and pick up a couple of treasures along the way.
Take a Garden Walk
Some of the most beautiful flowers and foliage you will ever see are at Cross Hills Gardens and Heritage Park Rhododendron Gardens. Take a stroll and absorb the colors and fragrances of thousands of roses, azaleas, and rhododendrons.
Theater and Art
Manawatu is teeming with art. Street artists will fill your ears with music as you walk around, and you will find theaters and art galleries are abundant. You are bound to find one of the statues or murals as you make your way.
Food and Drink
If you want to relax and have a cold drink, you can have a couple of beers and take a tour of the Tui Brewery. They have a museum for you to wander through and a bar and restaurant when you are ready to eat.
Speaking of food, Broadway Avenue is a cultural gateway to foods from around the world. You can find food from Africa to Vietnam right here. Or, there is Brew Union, which offers a family-friendly environment and food to meet a variety of tastes.
If you are traveling with your family, you know you must find things that will entertain the kids. There are plenty of things to do in and around Manawatu that everyone will enjoy.
View the Wildlife
After being treated, animals will spend some time at the Central Energy Trust Wildbase Recovery. This is a great place for your family to get an up-close look at many species that are native to the area. There are indoor and outdoor areas to explore. And you will want to take a stroll through the aviary so that you can view a variety of birds.
Your family can get an idea of the history of Manawatu’s rural way of life by visiting the Coach House Museum in Fielding. You will see many of the vehicles that helped Manawatu develop into what it is today.
The Manawa Museum of Art, Science, and Heritage is full of hands-on exhibits that tell the story of the Manawatu River. It will allow your children to get the most out of learning about where they are and having fun at the same time.
Fun, Fun, Fun!
When you just need some downtime, there are plenty of things to do. Try to beat the family score at Bowlarama, catch some air at our Cloud 9 or Flip City, or cool off on a water slide at the Lido Aquatic Centre.
Something for Everyone
It does not matter if you are bringing your family, planning a romantic getaway, or looking for a place to be active. You will find plenty of things to do and explore here in Manawatu and the surrounding areas!