Road Tripping Whanganui to Palmerston North

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by Hertz NZ - 25 July 2019

This short road trip from Whanganui to Palmerston North is quick and easy, with plenty to see and do in both towns.

Begin in Whanganui

In the Māori language, Whanganui translates as ‘big bay’ or ‘big harbour’, referring to the great river that flows through it.

The city was once New Zealand’s fifth largest and is still home to a whole host of heritage-listed buildings, along with magnificent museums and gardens that date back to the beginning of the previous century. Whanganui’s surrounding landscape features black sandy beaches, rolling green hills, and views of Mt Taranaki and Mt Ruapehu, which makes it perfect for exploring in a rental car.

Explore the Museums of Whanganui

Whanganui is home to a vibrant arts scene, with two very excellent art museums in the city, namely The Sarjeant Gallery, and Quartz Museum of Studio Ceramics.

The Sarjeant Gallery is the city’s most famous gallery. Unfortunately, the main gallery building is closed for renovations – although some of the collection can still be seen in Taupo Quay.

A Cyclist’s Paradise

A visit to the Whanganui region also offers visitors the chance to explore one of New Zealand’s greatest cycling tracks, the Mountains to Sea Cycle Trail. The trail is one of the world’s best, beginning on the side of a live volcano before continuing its way along remote pathways, all the way to the sea.

Take to the River

The Whanganui River is New Zealand’s longest navigable river and offers adventures aplenty, including jet boat rides, cruises and kayaking. For the adventurous, head on a kayaking trip through the stunning bushland and hill country that surrounds the river.

Explore the Scottish Heritage of Turakina

From Whanganui, jump in your rental car and head for Turakina, just a short drive away. Turakina is a town with a proud Scottish heritage. The first Scots arrived in the 19th century taking much of their traditions and culture with them before many intermarried with the Māori community. Today, the Celtic connection is still strong in Turakina, with the town’s annual highland games (held in January) attracting visitors from all over New Zealand.

Head for Palmerston North

From Turakina, jump in your rental car and drive for Palmerston North. Here you’ll find a small city with plenty on offer, from museums and galleries to great cafes and superb restaurants.

Learn More About New Zealand’s Favourite Game

One the highlights of Palmerston North is the New Zealand Rugby Museum. The museum is home to New Zealand’s largest collection of rugby memorabilia and perfectly captures the country’s unique relationship with the sport. Some of the game’s most treasured artefacts reside within these walls, with national treasures you won’t find anywhere else.

Foxton Beach

For a fun family day out, head for Foxton Beach, an ideal spot for outdoor activities such as swimming, kiteboarding, surfing and fishing. The beach is perfect for families, with a number of accommodation options available catering for families of all sizes and budgets.

There’s plenty to see and do on this short road trip. Wherever you choose to explore, you’ll get there in a rental car from Hertz.