Looking for things to do whilst in town? Palmerston North is a little city that is not to be underestimated. With beautiful natural landscapes, ideal conditions for growing and farming, and plenty of clever and creative people doing interesting things, Palmerston North is a special place that is well worth a visit. 

When looking for things to do in Palmerston North - foodies can follow their noses to the central city and further afar to find the best of locally-sourced produce in all types of cuisine, from New Zealand beef and lamb to authentic Mexican in funky and interesting spaces and can meet the region’s growers and producers themselves at the Feilding Farmers Market that celebrates all things local. And with a number of local roasteries and breweries, there’s always somewhere to pick up that delicious morning cup of coffee or perfect afternoon pint.

For the nature lovers, Palmerston North has a lot to see and do with everything from the rolling green hills of the mighty Manawatu to gorges and mountains lush with native flora and fauna and ready to be explored. A University town as well as a farming town, Palmerston North is home to Massey University’s Wildbase Hospital – which is dedicated to caring for sick and injured animals before returning them to the wild.  

If that wasn’t enough, Palmerston North also has a rich cultural scene. With a museum of art, science and heritage, local galleries and the He Ara Kotahi Bridge and Pathway designed to bring people together, you’ll never be at a loss for things to do in Palmerston North.

A Day Guide to Victoria Esplanade, Palmerston North

Large palm trees on both sides of a road.
If you only have a day to spend in Palmerston North, make sure you spend most of it at Victoria Esplanade.

Orlando Store

Place Palmerston North
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Orlando Store is only a hop, skip and jump from the edge of Palmerston North, overlooking the stunning Tararua ranges.

Hōm Interiors + Inspiration

The exterior of Hōm Interiors + Inspiration with the black storefront.
Place Palmerston North
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In 2021, Nichola Waugh threw open the doors of Hōm to the public for the very first time.

Te Āpiti Manawatū Gorge

Three people walking under trees.
Place Palmerston North
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For a breathtaking outdoor adventure, simply pop “State Highway Three - Manawatū Gorge” into your map app and complete the quick 20 minute drive from downtown Palmerston North. Nestled between mountains and carved by geological forces over the last three million years, Te Āpiti is a natural time capsule.

Wildbase Recovery

A rescued morepork cuddling up in a blue towel.
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Massey University’s Wildbase Hospital is a place where you can observe New Zealand’s unique native species and learn more about the hard work that goes into looking after them.

He Ara Kotahi Bridge & Pathway

The He Ara Kotahi Bridge at night.
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Get some fresh air at He Ara Kotahi bridge and walkway. The name means ‘a pathway that brings people together’, but you’ll find that this outdoor space does much more than that.

Feilding Farmers Market

A giant whitebait pattie with a lemon wedge on the side.
Place Palmerston North
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Many of Manawatū's most talented, passionate and well-known growers, cheesemakers, artisans, bakers, herbalists, apiarists, florists and craftspeople have stalls at the Feilding Farmers Market making this market a celebration of all things fresh and local.