Family Fun In Whanganui
Looking for things to do with the family while you’re in Whanganui? We’ve got you covered! Whanganui offers plenty of places to go and things to do for kids of all ages. From famous Kowhai Park with the miniature railway, a family favourite for generations, to laser tag among the pine trees, there are lots of ways to keep the kids entertained while you have a coffee – we mean, join in! The Splash Centre is a popular year-round swimming complex, the Whanganui District Library for the readers, and the Museum offers tailor-made activities for kids. Here are some of our ideas…!
On the banks of the mighty Whanganui River, Kōwhai Park is for small and big kids alike! Kowhai Park in Whanganui has been delighting children for decades. Parents that played there while young bring their children back to experience the same fun! Ride a brontosaurus, check out the pirate ship, swing on an octopus, see-saw with a snake and on a hot day play in the water maze. Weekends and holidays children can ride on the Tot-TownRailway. A must visit for families and a favourite for all!
Kai Iwi Beach
A popular safe beach for the whole family and all ocean activities, Kai Iwi Beach is reached via Rapanui Road 14kms west of Whanganui. Patrolled during the summer you can swim, fish, laze in the sun, go for long walks and pick through the driftwood. A well-established motor camp is located in the Mowhānau village, with a children’s playground, toilet block and wood-burning BBQ’s available as well. Book early for your summer holiday, spend a weekend or a day!
Splash Centre Whanganui
Indoor swimming and recreation all year round for all ages. Spa pools, saunas, a fitness centre, a flowing river and hydro-slides combine with a shallow toddlers’ pool to provide the perfect venue for everybody. Add a 25 metre heated pool and what more could you need? They can even put on a birthday party for you! www.splashcentre.co.nz
Durie Hill Tower & Elevator
Sixty-six metres high, the Durie Hill Elevator was built in 1919 and is NZ’s only public underground elevator and one of only two in the world. A pedestrian tunnel leads to the elevator and at the top the panoramic views of the Tasman Sea, Mount Ruapehu and Mount Taranaki are amazing. Right next to the elevator tower is the fanatastic War Memorial Tower, which, when climbed, will offer an even more amazing vista of the city! These are the places for your selfie 🙂
Virginia Lake is a premier outdoor garden park and is a beautiful destination for visitors and locals! Take a 25 minute woodland walk around the lake, spy Peter Pan’s statue and enjoy the birdlife, both on and around the water. The Winter Gardens is an all‑year‑round attraction with an adjoining Art Garden combining sculpture and garden art. Visit in the evening and see the historic Higginbottom Fountain lit up at night. Add in a children’s playground and a free bird avairy and this makes Virginia Lake one of Wanganui’s best attractions! Contact the Whanganui i-SITE Visitor Information Centre for more details.
Bushy Park Wildlife Sanctuary
Bushy Park Reserve is a 100 hectare native forest sanctuary kept predator‑free for native birds and is ranked one of Australasia’s ‘Top 25’ Restoration Projects. There are 3.4km of easy all‑weather walking tracks throughout the forest and a huge variety of bird life and species of trees. Don’t miss ‘Ratanui’, believed to be the biggest northern rata, 43 metres high with a girth of more than 11 metres with an age of between 500 and 1000 years.
While you’re there, visit the 22 room 1906 Edwardian‑era homestead and enjoy a picnic. You can also book accommodation here and enjoy a peaceful stay in the magnificent heritage homestead. Campervans are welcome to stay, too! Contact the Whanganui i-SITE Visitor Information Centre for more details.
Whanganui Regional Museum
The Whanganui Regional Museum is a must see with collections dated from 1890 and is famed for its Taonga Māori Collection, second to none in Aotearoa New Zealand. It is home to the largest permanent collection of Moa bones in the world (over 1000 bones), as well as housing one of the most extensive collections of Lindaur paintings in the country. The Museum Shop and Gallery stocks works by local artists and specialises in books on local history, Maori culture and the natural world.
Make A glass paperweight!
Instructors will guide through a hands-on experience in the hot shop twisting and pulling molten glass and sculpting it into a colorful glass paperweight!
New Zealand Glassworks
06 927 6803
Actifun Horse riding
Horse riding options for you and your children.
027 325 5665
Lazer Overload is Wanganui’s only outdoor lazer tag facility. Similar to paintball with no bullets or bruising. Great entertainment for people of all ages. Come and play at our purpose built venue in the pines!
027 272 2537