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of New Zealand's oldest cities, and situated near the sea on the banks of
the Whanganui River.
At the Whanganui Riverboat Centre, which houses the recently salvaged paddle steamer Waimarie, visitors can see restoration continuing on the vessel as well as memorabilia of the riverboat era.
The Whanganui Regional Museum has an excellent Maori collection, featuring a Maori Court and famous canoes. The Sarjeant Gallery features contemporary art, photography and touring exhibitions. There are a number of historic homesteads and churches, including the St Paul's Memorial Church (Putiki) which is decorated with Maori carvings and tukutuku wall panels. There are two inner city Heritage Walks as well as the Wanganui West and Three Valley Heritage Trails.
The Durie Hill pedestrian tunnel takes you to the historic elevator, one of only two in the world, which rises 66 metres through the hill to the summit, where the Memorial Tower offers excellent views of the city and river. Whanganui is renowned for its array of sporting facilities, including Cooks Gardens the home of Peter Snell's world record breaking mile and New Zealand's only international-class wooden cycling velodrome.
Whanganui is served by regular
coach and bus services to most North Island destinations and regular daily
Zealand Link air services to and from Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.