The Wanganui region is on the lower west coast of the North Island, south of Taranaki and the Taupo/Ruapehu regions, based around the Whanganui River. This region is known for Maori culture, heritage, Whanganui National Park and river adventures. Wanganui’s estimated population is 43,300.
The Wanganui region takes its name from the city of Wanganui, which rests on the banks of the spectacular Whanganui River.
Except for the rolling coastal lowlands around Wanganui, the hinterland is very rugged and there are only two winding roads following river valleys up to the volcanic plateau.
A large part of the hill country is included in the Whanganui National Park, through which flows the historic Whanganui River, New Zealand’s longest navigable waterway.
The river was an important means of access for pre-European Maori, European settlers, and for intrepid tourists heading for the central North Island.