Come and visit our beautiful city of Whanganui!
Tēnā koutou katoa! Welcome to Whanganui!
Whanganui (sometimes spelt Wanganui) is a place steeped in history, art and culture. Big enough to draw crowds and small enough to be intimate.
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.
Located on the West Coast of New Zealand’s North Island and home to approximately 43,000 people, Whanganui (sometimes spelt Wanganui) 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.
‘Whanganui’ and ‘Wanganui’
You may notice two different spellings of ‘Whanganui’, or ‘Wanganui’. Since the mid-1800s there have been two different spellings in use for the name of our area. The different spellings arose from the way in which local iwi pronounce the word ‘Whanganui’ (the ‘wh’ creating a barely aspirated sound), and the way in which European settlers wrote down the word as they heard it – ‘Wanganui’.
More recently, the name of our district was deemed by the Government to be ‘Whanganui’. This is why you will see the name of our city spelt with and without an H as you travel around. Either way – it is still the same place, Whanganui or Wanganui!