There’s something for everyone in Manawatu, from easy going city living, close knit towns to a relaxed rural lifestyle and everything in between. Discover some of the beautiful spots you could call home.
As a bustling city in the lower North Island, Palmerston North offers the sophistication and diversity of a major city, with the freedom and space of a provincial centre. The community is diverse but close-knit, where newcomers are warmly welcomed.
As one of New Zealand’s most affordable regions, beautiful homes are available at a fraction of the cost of other cities and for most living in the city, the morning commute is roughly 10 minutes by car. We’re also a cycling friendly city, so if you’re after a dose of fresh air before you hit the office, a commute by bike is popular.
Palmerston North is known nationally as a centre for learning and knowledge, with excellent tertiary, secondary and primary education. For children starting school or adults wanting to further their study, there is no shortage of options. We’re also home to a large hospital and a number of health services, so access to top health care is easy.
Our diverse range of cultures brings a dynamic, international perspective to everyday life, not to mention a delicious array of cultural cuisine and a vibrant events scene. The coffee and café culture will keep your taste buds tingling and rivals that of a big city.
A year-round calendar of events keeps the city alive and humming, from motorsport mayhem, to urban festivals of creativity, culture and music that bring the streets alive with their colour and sounds. Our diverse arts and theatre scene also offers something for everyone.
The city’s geographical location and central airport, six kilometres from the CBD, means access to other regions and cities by car or plane is easy and quick. Wellington is less than two hours drive south for international flights, and our airport has more than 40 flights per day connecting you to the rest of New Zealand.
The Square at night
Palmerston North to Feilding 16km
Feilding is a charming rural town, with a close-knit community. The small town atmosphere greets you with red-bricked pavements, stunning flowerbeds, a warm elegance and a welcoming community – it’s easy to see how why they’ve one the award for ‘New Zealand’s Most Beautiful Town’ no less than 16 times! The free parking and array of shops and eateries make it a vibrant hub of Manawatu where you are met with a friendly smile, and the welcoming hospitality that has earned this town the label of ‘Friendly Feilding’.
Feilding is home to Feilding High School and various primary and intermediate schools.
Friday’s in Feilding are a hive of activity, with the award-winning Farmers’ Markets in the town square and the Feilding Saleyards – one of the Southern Hemisphere’s largest stock saleyards. With great schools, all the amenities and a laid back rural lifestyle.
Check out our guide on what to do in Feilding – from dining destinations and cafe-hopping to art galleries and creative studios, Feilding really does have it all.
The Feilding clock tower
Palmerston North to Ashhurst 10km
Located at the mouth of Te Apiti – Manawatu Gorge and the Pohangina Valley, Ashhurst is a small town offering a big flavor, with a strong arts community and several well-known eateries.
With its close distance to Palmerston North city and Feilding, Ashhurst is a popular place to live, and is ideal for outdoor enthusiasts with its close proximity to the Ruahine Ranges as well as many cycling trails and tracks.
A great primary school, library and several community groups make it ideal for growing families who want the convenience to the city, while still having the laid back New Zealand lifestyle of yesteryear. www.ashhurst.org
Views of Ashhurst and Te-Apiti Manawatu Gorge
Living in Rural Manawatu
Palmerston North to Aokautere less than 6km
People living in Aokautere enjoy a scenic little valley and a strong community spirit. Located on the other side of the Manawatu River from Palmerston North, Aokautere offers country living and a close proximity to the hustle and bustle of the city. It is a complete community with its own school, church and community hall.
Palmerston North to Linton 14 km
Home to Linton Army Camp – New Zealand’s biggest army camp – Linton is located close to the city but within its own rural landscape. It offers a significant urban area with many residents enjoying the spacious and quiet living at an affordable cost. The camp offers all the conveniences of a main town, including schools and childcare facilities.
Palmerston North to Kimbolton 44km
Known as the garden-paradise of Manawatu due to its fantastic soil and growing conditions, Kimbolton is home to the world-class Cross Hills Rhododendron Gardens, and the stunning Heritage Park Rhododendron Gardens. Be sure to stop in at Hansen’s Cafe and Store for a bite to eat and a yummy coffee or pop in to the local tavern at Kimbolton Hotel and check out the beautiful community reserve! With local sports teams, the cutest little library and welcoming community groups Kimbolton is popular with families as a place to put down roots.
Hansen’s Cafe and Store in Kimbolton
Palmerston North to Pohangina Village 25km
The picturesque Pohangina Valley evolves dramatically as you head north from Ashhurst. Lush, green clad terraces frame the river, whilst the Ruahine Ranges form a dramatic backdrop. Living here you can spend your weekends exploring heritage collections, discovering hidden swimming holes and glow worm caves and soaking up the outdoors one of Manawatu’s most scenic places and the local village centre runs a cafe on weekends as well as many community events. The local community in Pohangina Village are close knit and welcoming, making it an ideal place for families to base themselves while enjoying a fantastic rural lifestyle. There’s also a playgroup, Awahou Playgroup at Awahou School in Ashhurst.
The stunning Pohangina Valley
Palmerston North to Sanson 20km
Situated at a pivotal crossroad where State Highways One and Three meet, Sanson is a popular stop-off point for crafts and antiques enthusiasts. Located within a stone’s throw from Ohakea Airforce Base, Sanson is a popular choice for many servicemen with families as place to live and is only a 15 minute drive from Feilding. Every Sunday rain or shine, Manawatu resident’s head to Sanson to buy locally grown fresh farm produce as well as arts, crafts and collectables at a weekly market. Sanson is home to the Manawatu Blokart Club and race track, and has a wide array of community activities and initiatives.
Halcombe to Feilding 12km
Halcombe is a vibrant rural settlement with over 500 residents. Central to the village area is the War Memorial, Tavern, Memorial Hall, domain, Playcentre, fire brigade, Marae and school. The surrounding farmland is predominately used for a variety of livestock farming and cropping, with an increasing number of lifestyle blocks. Halcombe gives residents the benefit of a rural lifestyle with an easy commute to Feilding, Palmerston North and Ohakea and has a welcoming community.
Palmerston North to Rangiwahia 69km
Rangiwahia is an area characterised by ancient native bush, lush pastures and breathtaking clay cliffs. The tiny rural village is surrounded by hill country farms and is home to a number of beautiful bush walks and nature activities. The Rangiwahia Hut in the Ruahine Ranges offers beautiful views of farm land and the vast ranges. Predominately a farming community, Rangiwahia has a rich agricultural heritage and an active community, with primary schooling nearby in Apiti. www.irongates.co.nz
Palmerston North to Apiti 59km
Located at a high altitude, Apiti is a charming rural village with a thriving community heart, local pub and primary school. Many families have been farming here for generations, and the community is well known for its welcoming hospitality. Apiti is known as the Gateway to the Ruahine Range’s, with hidden glow worm caves, the Iron Gates Gorge and the network of walking tracks which surround the area. The community is said to have the best Anzac Day celebrations in the region, and possibly the North Island, such is the community spirit and collaboration here.
Palmerston North to Rongotea 16km
Rongotea is a small township with a friendly rural atmosphere. Rongotea School goes through to Year Eight and the Te Kawau play centre provides learning and fun for the younger ones. In spring, residents and visitors to the town admire the beautiful cherry trees that blossom vibrantly on every street in the town. The Te Kawau Memorial Recreation Centre is a real asset to the area and is the home of Te Kawau Rugby as well as community meetings and events. www.rongoteaanddistrict.co.nz
Palmerston North to Himatangi Beach 32km
This charming seaside village is home to one of the largest sand dune fields in the southern hemisphere. Typical of the wild west coast, the rugged landscape of this beach is beautiful, and offers good swimming, fishing, walking and more. Get some fish ‘n’ chips at the local store and picnic on the beach while watching the sunset. With a mix of permanent residents and holiday homes, this community is friendly and welcoming, and is home to many community groups and clubs. The local Himatangi holiday park is award winning, and makes for a nice close weekend getaway.
Family fun at Himatangi Beach
Palmerston North to Himatangi Beach 39km
A small coastal village, Tangimoana is situated at the mouth of the Rangitikei River and has a sand dune landscape, similar to other beaches in the area. There are just over 200 residents living in Tangimoana, offering a laidback and quiet lifestyle, roughly a half an hour drive from Palmerston North and Feilding.