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  5. Why Manawatu?


Located in the lower North Island, Manawatu is bordered by majestic mountain ranges, sweeping west coast beaches, sprawling farmland and the Manawatu River. From flourishing rural villages, the bustling townships of Feilding to our urban city of Palmerston North, we are a friendly region that thrives on innovation and discovery. 

Discover some of the top reasons why people choose to live here.

Easy and accessible lifestyle 

Life’s too short to spend hours in traffic getting to work or crossing a city, here in Palmerston North city the average commute is 10 minutes and daily essentials like shops, supermarkets and sports practices are easy to get to. We’re one of New Zealand’s most affordable regions, so beautiful homes or lifestyle blocks are available for a fraction of the cost. In Manawatu District, townships and villages including Feilding, Apiti and beachside communities like Himatangi offer residents the chance to live in smaller communities, while having easy and close access to everything they need. 

Work-life balance 

Our residents enjoy the ultimate work-life balance because of the lifestyle offered in Manawatu. There are ample opportunities to grow your business and develop your career, all while enjoying other important elements in life, like family time, outdoor adventure, or pursuing hobbies and interests. Discover more about working here. 

Sunrise over Manawatu River

Friendly and welcoming communities 

Our locals are known for their warmth, friendliness and down to earth nature, with ‘Friendly Feilding’ earning its name for good reason. Palmerston North is one of five locations across the country to host Welcoming Communities, an initiative focused on welcoming migrants, international students, former refugees and new residents to our city.

Top education and healthcare 

With leading tertiary education providers Massey University, UCOL and IPU NZ all based in the city, there are ample opportunities to further your education here in Manawatu. We have the highest number of residents with Ph.D.’s in New Zealand and the city has one of New Zealand’s youngest populations on average – 33 years – because of the tertiary institutes and two New Zealand Defence Force locations based here, Linton Military Camp and Ohakea Air Base.

Walking along Hokowhitu Lagoon

Vibrant arts, theatre and culture 

Theatre, music and the arts are important threads in the fabric of any vibrant community and our region is brimming with options. Te Manawa Museum offers exhibitions and interactive experiences across science, history and art, and our theatres include the Regent on Broadway, Globe Theatre and Centrepoint Theatre, the only professional provincial theatre as well as a fantastic array of community led theatres including Feilding’s Little Theatre. Our regional events span motorsport, lively festivals and markets, sporting and field days, meaning there’s rarely a time when your calendar will be empty! Find out what’s happening in the arts and culture scene in Manawatu here.

Eateries and bars 

With Manawatu’s strong agricultural heritage, it’s not surprising that our region boasts a fantastic selection of great places to eat and drink. Home to a number of award winning restaurants, coffee roasteries, boutique cafés, artisan food producers and our very own micro brewery, you’ll definitely be spoilt for choice. Check them out here.

Outdoor adventure 

From mountain biking, walking or cycling through the network of trails including Arapuke Park, Te Apiti – Manawatu Gorge, the Manawatu Riverside Pathway and the Sledge Track, Manawatu is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream. The Ruahine Ranges are dotted with back country huts, with day walks to multiday tramps all offering stunning views of Mt Ruapehu and the beautiful surrounding hill country. Northern Manawatu villages are home to a number of hidden natural gems, from glow worm caves to gorges and dramatic clay cliffs, and if it’s sea air you’re craving, multiple beaches are all within a short drive from Palmerston North. Find your next adventure here.

Central location 

Manawatu’s central location means weekends away and holiday options are endless. New Zealand’s colourful capital, Wellington, the wineries of the Hawke’s Bay and ski fields in the Central North Island are all within a few hours’ drive.