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Know Before You Go
- Stay in a marae (Maori meeting house). It's one of the few regions in New Zealand where you can do this and experience the Maori culture up close.
- Get out of the city and explore its natural beauty. Go on a kayak trip in Whanganui National Park, explore the native forests and walk to the famous Bridge to Nowhere.
- Wanganui is known for its mastery of glass blowing. Head to the Chronicle Glass Studio and watch the blowers create beautiful creations at the hot kilns.
- If you want a panoramic view of the city, go to the top of the Durie Hill Memorial Tower. Entrance is free, and you'll be able to watch the sunset over the river, city and even the central North Island volcanoes.
- Head to Kai Iwi Beach. It's considered the most beautiful beach in Wanganui with its black sand and views of the coastal cliffs. If you go at low tide, you can also walk to Castle Cliff Beach.
Getting Around Wanganui
- The best way to get around Wanganui is with the local buses. You can buy a GoCard for NZD 12 and top up in denominations of ten. The buses run Monday to Friday until 8:00 p.m. and Saturday to Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
- For travellers on a budget, you can easily save money by walking around. The city is small enough to explore by foot, and you'll be able to get to most of the central attractions without a problem.
- If you want more independence but don't want to rent a car, hire a bicycle. Rentals are available in the city from NZD 35, and the price includes a helmet and lock.
- For travellers that would prefer to have their own wheels for day trips, there are car rental companies at the airport and in town.
When is The Best Time to Visit Whanganui?
The most popular time to visit Whanganui is during the summer months. But while the rest of New Zealand is receiving a tourist boom over this period, don't expect Wanganui to be as busy as the bigger cities. However, with only one airline serving the city, you'll need to book your flights in advance to make sure you get a seat on the plane.
If you want to escape the summer crowds, visit during the autumn months. From March to May, Wanganui will become quieter, and you'll have hiking routes to yourself.
Winter is from June to July. It's the perfect time to visit if you want to experience a different side to the city and explore New Zealand's winter wonderland.
Another shoulder season to plan your trip around is spring. From September to November, the summer crowds have yet to arrive, and you'll have city's attractions all to yourself.
Airports in Wanganui
Wanganui Airport is 7 km from the city centre. After Air New Zealand cancelled its flight schedule to the airport, Air Chathams took its place. At the moment, there are only a couple of weekly flights between Wanganui and Auckland.
Getting To and From Wanganui Airport
The airport does not have any public transport available to travellers. Your best option is to take a taxi into town. The taxi stand is located in the baggage claim area, and it costs NZD 25 for a trip to the city centre.
If you don't want to take a taxi, your only other option is to hire a car. There are three rental companies within the arrivals terminal that offer travellers a variety of vehicles to choose from.