About Palmerston North
A little over 85 miles north of the capital of Wellington, Palmerston North is a predominately flat region nestled in between the Ruahine and Tararua ranges. It is home to over 70 major educational and research institutions, making the population of Palmerston North quite student-heavy. Many consider this city the gateway to outdoor adventures due to its close proximity to Tongariro National Park and the two mountain ranges Ruhaine and Tararua mountain ranges. Shoppers will love The Plaza, a huge shopping center that recently underwent some upgrades. Cycling is big here, and with parks, local shops, and theaters to entertain visitors, a bike can take you almost anywhere in this city.
Things to do in Palmerston North
Any New Zealander can tell you the biggest sport in the country, by far, is rugby. In Palmerston North, head to the New Zealand Rugby Museum to learn about the rich history behind the sport itself, rugby’s impact on the country, and the heroes that have led the All Blacks to victory time and again. Test out your own rugby skills in the “Have a Go” area designed to give visitors an idea of what it’s like to push a scrum or tackle a player. The “Rugby Tribe” is a rotating gallery where different exhibitions are on display throughout the year. The “Rugby Relics” gallery gives visitors an up close look at rugby memorabilia dating back to the 1800s. Even if you’re not a diehard rugby fan, this is definitely the place to go for a closer look at a sport that shaped the nation.
Looking for some new clothes? The Plaza is one of the largest shopping centers in the North Island, boasting stores selling women’s clothing, children’s toys, electronics, bookstores, and everything in between! Theatre lovers should catch a show at The Globe where Shakespearean dramas are just one of the many types of plays put on there. The outdoor enthusiast will love walking the 3-hour long Manawatu Gorge hiking trail. The city hosts the annual Festival of Cultures, a three-day long celebration of arts, culture, and communities around the world. A lantern-lighting parade kicks off the event every March in The Square, a gathering spot in the city, and 60+ cultural stalls, 30+ craft stalls, and over 20 performers keep the celebration going throughout the weekend.
Day Trips from Palmerston North
Tararua National Park is just a 1 hour and 20-minute drive from Palmerston North. The park offers a wide variety of options within its forested land. Hiking the Gentle Annie Track is one of the more popular choices, as the incline is minimal and dogs are allowed. The Rocky Lookout on the track gives hikers a panoramic view of Mount Holdsworth and the upper Atiwhakatu Valley. The Kapakapanui Track offers one of the best viewpoints of the valley below. This 6 to 8-hour hike is for the more advanced hiker. The park also has one mountain biking trail, Burtton’s Track. Be advised that it is for experts and the trail is good for about 4-6 hours of biking. Fishing, rock climbing, and water activities like kayaking and canoeing are also available to visitors. Make sure you carve some time out in your trip to visit this beautiful national park.
Palmerston North Accommodations
For all your vacation rental needs, visit Tripping.com where you’ll find over 200 rentals in the Palmerston North area. Whether you want a modern studio overlooking The Square for a perfect view of the Festival of Cultures, or a cottage on the outskirts of town, book the perfect rental through Tripping.com.
Cafes are a pretty big part of the Palmerston North food and drink scene. Café Royale is a crowd pleaser. Their gluten free treats and coffee beans roasted in-house keep locals coming back for more. Columbus Café also roasts its own beans and its location right on The Square make it a prime people-watching spot. Can’t decide where to go? Pick a few and spread them out over your vacation so you can try a little bit of everything.
Transportation in Palmerston North
If you’re coming from out of the country, you’ll need to fly into an international airport, like the ones in Wellington and Auckland, and get a connecting flight to Palmerston North Airport since it’s a regional one. From the airport, it’s about a 10-minute drive to The Square or about a 30-minute bus rid on the Feilding-Palmerston North line. While in the city, you won’t need a car to get around, as there are ample bus lines and cycling paths to take you all around the inner city. To go on a day trip or leave, however, a car is recommended.