The Greenwood Guide to New Zealand
Wanganui and Manawatu, New Zealand

Culture and History in Wanganui and Manawatu, New Zealand

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Mangaweka Gallery

Mangaweka

Arts & crafts

The Gallery is set in a fabulous former church that's now painted yellow, red and blue (it shouldn’t work but it does) with magnificent, polished wooden floors and natural light streaming in through ornate, mullioned windows. It's the brain-child of British artist Richard Aslett and fits perfectly into tiny Mangaweka's do-it-yourself, bohemian feel. Richard displays his own paintings and photography plus ceramics, sculptures, carvings, and kimonos by NZ favourites including Paul Rayner and Claire Anderson. A café serves Yorkshire tea and dunking biscuits if you’re peckish. Open Thursday to Monday from 10am – 5pm.

Mangaweka Gallery
  • Prices: Postcards from 80 cents. Artworks from $10 up to $3,500+
  • Contact: Yellow Church, State Highway 1, Mangaweka
  • Tel: 06-382-5447
  • Cel: 027-526-6612
  • Email: mangawekagallery@xtra.co.nz
  • Web: www.myspace.com/mangawekagallery
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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John Vickers Homestead Architecture Tours

History tours

John Vickers is a font of knowledge on New Zealand’s history, and especially its settler architecture. He’s a fifth generation New Zealander and former District Mayor, so his interest goes far beyond facts and figures: this is his family’s history. His passion was evident when he showed me around his Chapman-Taylor courtyard house, which he restored with his wife Sarah. Book in advance to join one of his day-tours that visits local architectural rarities.

  • Prices: Prices vary depending on the group size.
  • Contact: Woodleigh Farm, R.D. 2, Marton
  • Tel: 06-327-7280
  • Fax: 06-327-8379
  • Email: john@historichomes.co.nz
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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Army Museum Waiouru

Mangaweka

Museums

Highly recommended by GG owners, this army museum 'doesn’t glamorise war', focusing instead on soldiers’ real-life stories. ANZAC Day is a big deal in New Zealand, so if you really want to get to the heart of the country’s identity, you need to know a bit about its military history. Opening every day except for Christmas: 9 am - 4.30 pm.

  • Prices: $10 adults, $7 children.
  • Contact: State Highway 1, Waiouru, Manawatu-Wanganui
  • Tel: 06-387-6911
  • Fax: 06-387-6319
  • Web: www.armymuseum.co.nz
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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New Zealand Rugby Museum

Palmerston North

Museums

Rugby union barged its way into New Zealand in the 1870s, grabbing the attention and hearts of the Kiwis who haven’t looked back - or passed the ball forward - since. The much-celebrated All Blacks (known for their full black kit and global success) are recognised as heroes throughout the ‘egg-chasing’ world, but particularly at home. The Black Caps, Tall Blacks and Silver Ferns (cricket, basketball and netball respectively) all wear kit inspired by New Zealand’s leading sport and the silver fern (usually stitched on black cotton) has become an internationally accepted symbol for New Zealand. You can find out a whole lot more on the All Blacks at the New Zealand Rugby Museum, which hoards a vast collection of rugby paraphernalia and information.

  • Prices: Admission for adults $5 and children $2. Open Mon - Sat 10am - 12pm and 1.30pm - 4pm. Open Sundays from 1.30pm - 4pm. Tour and rugby groups by arrangement.
  • Contact: 87 Cuba Street, Palmerston North
  • Tel: 06-358-6947
  • Fax: 06-358-6947
  • Email: info@rugbymuseum.co.nz
  • Web: www.rugbymuseum.co.nz
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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Wanganui and Manawatu Highlights

  • Immerse yourself in Whanganui National Park and its grade II major river. This key shipping route of the past is now an action zone for canoes, kayaks and jet boats while the park itself is crying out to be walked in.
  • Drive the Whanganui River road to Pipiriki. Try not to stop at every scenic photo opportunity or you may be some time.
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