10 things to do in the Region this summer

We have some awesome spots in our region that are perfect for summer activities - check out some of the options below.

1. Visit the beach

Our region has a number of beaches that are well worth a visit – Foxton, Himatangi, Castlecliff, Akitio – to name a few! There are plenty of fun activities you can do at the beach ranging from swimming and walking to fishing and boating. Pack a picnic and make a day of it with friends and family – and remember before you head there you can check conditions via webcams on our website.

2. Camp at Totara Reserve

Did you know that our Regional Park offers camping facilities which Horizons manage? Tōtara Reserve Regional Park is about a 50 minute drive north from Palmerston North with powered and non-powered sites, showers, toilets and BBQ facilities on site. Take a walk through native bush, go fishing or simply wade in the river. For more details visit our website.

3. Visit Bushy Park in Whanganui

Bushy Park Sanctuary is located 25km from Whanganui and is a 100 hectare predator-free native bird sanctuary, set amongst one of the few patches of virgin lowland forest. Within the Park are a number well-formed walking tracks throughout the forest providing easy all-weather access for visitors. For more information visit www.bushyparksanctuary.org.nz

4. Visit Bruce Park in Rangitīkei

Bruce Park is 5km north of Hunterville and offers an easy walk through native forest which is mostly flat and suitable for all ages. On the walk you’ll come across a memorial to Robert Cummingham Bruce, a conservationist who gifted the district several forest patches

5. Check out your local swimming spot

Our region is home to many popular swimming spots which provide fantastic places to cool off when conditions are right. Horizons reports on water quality at popular swimming spots in the region between 1 November and 30 April each summer season.

6. Visit Manawatū Estuary at Foxton Beach

The Manawatū River Estuary (at Foxton Beach) is now a RAMSAR site and an internationally recognised bird sanctuary, where migrating and NZ native birds enjoy the mudflats and wetlands. Horizons, Horowhenua District Council and the Department of Conservation work together to manage this area with the help of the Manawatū Estuary Trust. Walking access to the estuary is off Holben Parade at Foxton Beach.

7. Go mountain biking in Ruapehu

The Ruapehu District offers a number of different mountain bike trails for all age levels and experience. This includes two great rides which are part of The New Zealand Cycle Trail network: the Timber Trail and the Mountains to Sea - Nga Ara Tuhono. For more information visit www.visitruapehu.com

8. Check out the River Traders' Market in Whanganui

This popular weekend attraction is located in an area of riverbank recorded in history as a busy riverside trading site for local Māori. Operating every Saturday from 9am-1pm, the market is situated downtown in the heritage precinct, on the banks of the Whanganui River between the riverboat Waimarie and the Tram-shed. 

9. Walk the Tawa loop track at Te Āpiti - Manawatū Gorge

15 minutes north of Palmerston North is Te Āpiti - Manawatū Gorge. Take a couple hours out of your day to walk the clearly sign-posted track Tawa Loop Track. Moderate ability is required, but the view from numerous lookouts is well worth the effort. Also don’t miss seeing Whatonga, the mighty Maori chief statue at the top. For more information visit www.teapiti.co.nz

10. Visit the Dannevirke mountain bike and walking trail

A mountain bike and walking trail has been created in the Upper Wahipai Reserve at the northern end of Dannevirke. Access is from State Highway 2, north of Dannevirke with the trail being suitable for off road mountain bikes and the difficulty ranges from medium to high. For more information visit www.tararuadc.govt.nz