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About Whanganui


Founded in 1840 at the mouth of the New Zealand’s longest navigable river, Whanganui is home to some of the country’s most fascinating history and arts .

Whanganui means “big bay” or “big harbour” and boasts some unique firsts and iconic historical attractions for New Zealand. The Ward Observatory, the Durie Hill Elevator, the Waimarie Paddlesteamer and “Mable” the No. 12 Tram are all here for visitors to enjoy.

Whanganui is also home to some of New Zealand’s most significant sporting history. We have NZ’s first Jockey Club, NZ’s first Golf Club and Cooks Gardens saw Peter Snell break the world record four minute mile in 1962. A stronghold of rowing since the beginnings of the city, the Whanganui and Union Boat Clubs were established in the late 1870’s.