My Dad and one of my old friends live in Palmerston North and when I told them that we were coming for a visit both of them asked why we would want to come to Palmerston North. It says a lot for a place when even it’s residents don’t rate it so I’d like to set the record straight and give you 3 reasons why you should visit Palmerston North with the kids on your next Central North Island road trip.
#1 The drive into Palmerston North
We took SH 50 from Napier to Palmerston North and it is some of the most beautiful countryside I have seen. Hills for miles, scorched brown by the hot summer without a town in site. Most of the time we were the only car on the road.
Once you head down to SH 2 and are almost into Palmerston North you head through the Manawatu gorge which is just awe inspiring. There are also walks you can do through this area which I would have loved to do if I had the time.
#2 Te Apiti Windfarm
The wind farm is located on the saddle road between Ashhurst and Woodville and the drive itself is worth taking.
From the lookout you can stand right under one of the giant wind turbines (measuring 70 metres tall, with each blade measuring in at 35 metres) while looking out over the other 54 wind turbines. it really is a site to behold. If you are that way inclined you can find out more about the turbines here.
#3 Victoria Esplanade
We spent 4 hours exploring some of the 360 acres of parklands at Victoria Esplanade.
I met my friend and her son there and we sat and chatted while our children played in the absolutely huge playground.
After she left we rode the miniature train through lush bush before checking out the bird aviaries and having a paddle in the large pool.
The kids refused to go around the Rose Gardens which I hear are also spectacular so we finished up at the cafe for ice creams before heading back to Grandads place (undoubtably the highlight for all of us for Palmerston North but sadly not an attraction that is open to the public).
So if you’re heading that way give Palmy a chance – there’s loads to do.