Wild west coast beaches, dramatic gorges and walks Te Apiti – Manawatu Gorge and Iron Gates Gorge, stunning mountains like the Ruahine Ranges and a plethora of parks and reserves, Manawatu offers never-ending exploration for outdoor enthusiasts.
Living here means walking tracks, mountain biking and multi-day tramps are at your doorstep and our central location offers easy access to ski fields and vineyards in nearby regions.
Te Apiti – Manawatu Gorge
A scenic divide between the Tararua and Ruahine Ranges, bordering the Manawatu Region. People of all ages will enjoy the stunning nature and variety of experiences offered here, from hiking, mountain biking, camping and more.
Te Apiti – Manawatu Gorge walk from Ashhurst entrance
There is a diverse network of trails throughout the city, outskirts of Manawatu and surrounding areas. The Manawatu Cycleway on The Country Road is part of the New Zealand Cycle Trail, offering some of the region’s most stunning countryside as you travel from Mangaweka, down the Pohangina Valley through to central Palmerston North. The city is very much cycling friendly, with designated cycling lanes and trails.
Cycling along The Country Road
Jump on your bike and explore the region’s plethora of mountain biking trails including Arapuke Park, Te Apiti – Manawatu Gorge and Raumai. Head to Manawatu Mountain Biking Club for more expert information.
Arapuke Forest Mountain Bike Park
Accessible via rural villages including Apiti and Rangiwahia, the ranges are dotted with backcountry huts and multi-day hikes, with lush native bush dotted with waterfalls and valleys. Tracks offer breath taking views of vast hill country and over to Mt Ruapehu on a clear day. For more walks and tramps, visit here.
Ruahine Ranges – Rangiwhahia Hut Track
There are a number of Manawatu beaches dotted along the coastline that are within a short driving distance from Palmerston North. Tangimoana Beach is where the Rangitikei River meets the sea, and is a popular spot for fisherman using long lines, kayakers and surfcasters. Himatangi Beach is a great spot for family picnics, with driftwood huts and sand dunes to explore, local playgrounds and cafe and a Surf Life Saving Club too. Vehicle access is limited, and advised for four-wheel drive vehicles and motorbikes. View our beaches here.
Himitangi Beach at sunset
Discover the natural wonders of the Limestone Creek Reserve Glow Worm Caves in Apiti, the breathtaking ancient native bush in the Rangiwahia Scenic Reserve, and the ponds of all shapes and sizes that are home to all kinds of native birds at Pohangina Wetlands, to name a few. Discover the vast variety of walks in Manawatu. View our walks.
Limestone Creek Reserve glow worm caves at night
Hunting & Fishing
Hunting, trout fishing and coastal catches make for a tasty playground. For Fish & Game fishing locations and access, click here.
Fly fisherman in the Manawatu River
Adventure River Valley rafting
The North Island’s largest ski fields at Turoa and Whakapapa boast Australasia’s longest vertical descent. With over 65 accessible trails, across more than 1050 hectares of pristine snow the North Island makes winter wonderland wishes come true. Ohakune is “ski central,” and only a two-hour drive from Palmerston North.