Located 140km northeast of Wellington and 546km south of Auckland, Palmerston North is the main city of the Manawatu region on New Zealand’s North Island. Known affectionately as ‘Palmy’ by the locals, Palmerston North is a sprawling town with a lively population of university students. Palmerston North holidays offer all the diversity and sophistication of a major city with all the spaciousness and freedom of a regional centre. Bordered by the Ruahine and Tararua mountain ranges, Palmerston North is spectacularly divided by Te Apiti Manawatu Gorge.
This Palmerston North travel guide is designed to help you make the most of your time in this lively yet charming city. Visitors to Palmerston North enjoy the museums, cafes, restaurants, rose gardens and vibrant arts scene. In fact, the city is internationally recognised for its theatre scene, with plenty of entertainment across all genres as well as a thriving music scene featuring a fusion of ‘underground’ and mainstream venues. There’s also a vibrant calendar of events year-round that keeps the city buzzing, from street music and urban festivals to motorsport mayhem.
Palmerston North accommodation is predominantly concentrated in the city centre, however there are also a number of options found nearby in Feilding and the wider Manawatu region. Ranging from 3 stars to 5 stars, Palmerston North accommodation offers everything from traditional kiwi farmstays to luxury country retreats, contemporary hotels and comfortable motels as well as charming bed and breakfasts. Close the city’s full range of shopping and dining options, Palmerston North accommodation is also conveniently located within minutes of some of the region’s most popular attractions. Book Now
Palmerston North is an attraction in its own right, however the region itself is also home to a variety of attractions. The city is dotted with prominent art galleries, museums and heritage collections which are ideal for visitors wanting to soak up some culture. Interspersed throughout the streets are a colourful array of dining options and cafes, making exploring the city a leisurely and enjoyable experience. However, perhaps one of the town’s most popular attractions – particularly with sporting fanatics – is the New Zealand Rugby Museum. Showcasing some of the rarest rugby artefacts in the world, the museum offers an insight into the rugby greats and tells the story behind the sport that shaped the country.
Palmerston North was originally named in honour of former British Prime Minister Viscount Palmerson. Later, in 1871, the Post Office added the word ‘North’ to distinguish it from a place in the South Island also called Palmerston. Unsurprisingly, the local Maori language also has its own names for Palmerston North including the literal translation of Pamutana and the more affectionate term, Papaioea meaning ‘how beautiful it is’.