Tēnā koutou katoa. Welcome to Whanganui. Te Awa O Whanganui – Kō au te Āwa, kō te Āwa kō au. I am the river, the river is me. These words embody the spiritual, cultural and historical relationship and defines the Iwi (Māori people) of the Whanganui River and region. Traditionally used by local Māori, this saying has become increasingly relevant to locals of European descent whose lives and history have also become interwoven by the river.
Where are we?
Located on the West Coast of New Zealand’s North Island and home to approximately 43,000 people, Whanganui sits at the junction of State Highways 3 and 4. We are a 2 ½ hour drive north from New Zealand’s capital city Wellington, an hour and a half from Mount Ruapehu and Mount Tongariro or an hour flight from Auckland. Most of the city lies on the northwestern bank of the historically significant Te Awa o Whanganui – the Whanganui River. The longest navigable river in New Zealand and once known as the Rhine of New Zealand, the Whanganui River has shaped the history of the city and its people.
Come and visit
Whanganui is a place steeped in history, art and culture. Big enough to draw crowds and small enough to be intimate. There is something here for everyone. We are surrounded by mountains, Mount Taranaki, Mount Ruapehu and Mount Tongariro, a beautiful natural landscape, dramatic west coast beaches and unspoilt native bush for tramping and wilderness trips. Our vibrant community prides itself on its parks and reserves, cycle and walk ways and an abundance of creativity. Don’t be surprised to find an immediate sense of connection, an unexpected little slice of heaven, and real New Zealand authenticity. Enjoy our manaakitanga – our legendary hospitality. We look forward to welcoming you to our part of the world. Come and learn more. Kō au te Āwa, kō te Āwa kō au. I am the river, the river is me.