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The Whanganui District is situated on the West Coast of New Zealand’s North Island. At the mouth of the Whanganui River lies the town of Wanganui or Whanganui (whichever you prefer) a place called home by approximately 43,000 people.
Whanganui is a place that gives visitors an opportunity to become immersed in authentic heritage in a generous riverside setting, bustling with activity. There is something here for everyone from arts and culture to sport and recreation or enjoying the scenery and natural attractions.It's surrounded by a natural landscape with dramatic west coast beaches, unspoilt native bush for tramping and wilderness trips and the longest navigable river in New Zealand. Whanganui is a great place to be. With a relaxed lifestyle, excellent accommodation and a warm, friendly, welcoming community you will enjoy what locals call manaakitanga – Whanganui's legendary hospitality.
One of the oldest settler towns
The area around the mouth of the Whanganui River was a major and significant site of pre-European Maori settlement. The Whanganui River catchment is regarded as a sacred area to Maori with the river and settlements holding a special place for Maori and European/Pakeha alike.
Whanganui is a rich amalgam of both European/Pakeha and Maori cultures with the Whanganui River central to historic, cultural and artistic development. The river (awa) has provided both inspiration and is the essential heartbeat for oral, visual and written creative expression over many centuries.
Arguably the largest arts community
Whanganui is probably best known for its glass art scene; however, a visit to its many private and public studios and galleries allows you to explore an incredible array of photographs, mosaics, jewellery, paintings, sculptures, fashion, textiles, gardens and crafts. The Whanganui Regional Museum and Sarjeant Gallery are amongst the best in New Zealand.
Expression is not limited to gallery works alone; the community is home to talented performing artists and musicians. The Royal Wanganui Opera House for one, is the ‘proving’ ground for rising operatic talent. Wanganui is also home to the award winning Whanganui School of Design which has a worldwide reputation in new media and graphic design.
From Maori art, craft and carvings, historic Maori buildings and colonial churches to the Victorian and Edwardian buildings, Wanganui is a heritage city providing much to explore. A range of Heritage and City short walks and guided tours are available around the city.
For Local Activities see the above Directory Tab or visit www.visitwhanganui.nz or phone:
Whanganui District Council Telephone: