Wanganui or Whanganui is a city on the west coast of the North Island of New Zealand. It lies at the mouth of the Whanganui River, which flows from Mount Tongariro via the stunning Whanganui National Park. The district has a population of approx. 44,000.


The name Wanganui comes from the Maori words whanga, for a bay or harbour, and nui meaning big or large. However, when the early colonists heard the placename said in the local Maori accent with a softly spoken wh that sounded more like a wo sound, rather than the classical Maori fh sound, they spelled the placename as Wanganui rather than Whanganui. Now, either spelling is officially acceptable, and the trend is towards using Whanganui.


Founded in 1840 and named Petre until 1852, Wanganui is one of the oldest European settlements in New Zealand.


Tourist and visitor information is available from:

Get in

By car

Wanganui is between Palmerston North and New Plymouth, at the junction of State Highway 4 (SH4) with State Highway 3 (SH3). It is a two and a half hour drive from Wellington, using State Highways 1 and 3 (SH1 and SH3) and a six hour drive from Auckland, via Hamilton, using State Highways 1 and 4 (SH1 and SH4).

By bus

There are daily coach services from Wellington, New Plymouth, Palmerston North and Auckland.

By plane

Wanganui Airport handles domestic flights from Auckland and Wellington.

By train

The nearest railway station with a passenger service is at Marton (40 km away).

Get around

A mixture of walking and taking buses is generally the most cost-effective way to get around Wanganui. Buses generally depart every hour from Maria Place Extension. There are also 2 taxi companies.







Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Wednesday, December 16, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.