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From idyllic seaside villages to close-knit rural settlements, if you’re after a relaxed country lifestyle, Manawatu is the place for you, with several beautiful towns and districts that our locals love to call home.

Aokautere

Palmerston North to Aokautere is 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.

Ashhurst

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 flavour, 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, slower-paced New Zealand lifestyle.

ashhurst.org

Apiti 

Palmerston North to Apiti 59km 

Located at a high altitude, Apiti is a charming rural village with a thriving community heart, local pub – the Apiti Tavern & Eatery 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. 

Halcolmbe 

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.

Himatangi Beach

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.

Kimbolton

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.

Linton

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.

Pohangina

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 in one of Manawatu’s most scenic places. 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. 

Rangiwahia

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. Predominantly a farming community, Rangiwahia has a rich agricultural heritage and an active community, with primary schooling nearby in Apiti.

irongates.co.nz

Sanson 

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 Air Force Base, living in Sanson is a popular choice for many defence personnel, particularly those with families, as it has it’s own school 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. 

Rongotea 

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 playcentre 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. Rongotea is also home to a delicious cafe The Merchant’s Daughter.

rongoteaanddistrict.co.nz

Tangimoana

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.