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Manawatu Region Major Towns


Dannevirke was one of the original Scandinavian settlements in New Zealand. Populated by Danes, Norwegians and Swedes in the 1870s.

The Gallery of History on Gordon Street offers a comprehensive explanation of the town's history. Dannevirke's Fantasy Cave is a must for families with young children.

Palmerston North

One of the largest provincial cities in the country, Palmerston North features many restored historic buildings. There is a large tree-lined square at the heart of the city surrounded by many cool cafes and restaurants.

There is a thriving theatrical society here - check out what's playing at the Regent on Broadway or Centrepoint Theatre. Rugby enthusiasts will appreciate the New Zealand Rugby Museum.


Taihape was first known as 'Koronokonui', which means 'the place of the big bird'. The big bird the Maori referred to was the Moa; a giant flightless bird that stood more than 5 metres tall. Sadly it was hunted to extinction many centuries ago.

Visit the celebrated annual 'Gumboot Throwing Contest' and see how far you can toss a gumboot across a paddock. The Taihape Domain features many excellent bushwalks.


Famous for its private museums featuring motorcycles, farm equipment, horse-drawn carts and railway transports. It also has been voted New Zealand's most beautiful town 12 times!

Check out the restored clock tower and beautiful gardens.
Visit Manfeild Park during one of its many car/motorbike race days.


In the heart of Horowhenua, Levin is a strong agricultural/ horticultural region at the western foot of the Tararua range. It is within easy driving distance of several beaches where fishing and swimming are popular pastimes.

Hike the Tararua ranges. Make sure you are well equipped and check the weather forecast before leaving.
Lake Horowhenua is a popular place for leisure boating and picnicking.