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Palmerston North Travel Guide, New Zealand

Palmerston North is a city in New Zealand that is located on the Manawatu River and is the main center for the region of Manawatu.  It is nestled by the foot of the Tararua Mountain Range. Much of the city's early growth as a town owes its success to the pastoral farming development in the area.

This is known primarily as a university town, hosting the second biggest university in New Zealand, Massey University.  Even though it is often overlooked by tourists, Palmerston North acts as a key point that links the major roads of the North Island.  The city gives a feel of relaxation and is a nice point to stop at while traveling to Wellington.

Palmerston North is centered around 'The Square”, which is a green space of 7 hectares at the heart of the city where all of the roads lead.  The city's west side is known mostly for its culture and arts, having many noted theaters and museums.  Esplanade Park lies on the city's outskirts, which stretch along the shores of River Manawatu.  This park is noted for its walking trails, gardens, and native bush.

This city is still growing, having now a population of 76,000.  Since the earthquake of 1931, Palmerston North has been broadening with the founding of the New Zealand Dairy Research Institute and, of course, Massey University, giving the city the nickname of the country's 'Knowledge City'.

The original town name was just Palmerston, which was given to the town in honor of Henry John Temple, who was a former Great Britain Prime Minister.  The 'North' suffix was added to the city's name during 1871 by its Post Office so that the settlement could be distinguished from the city's namesake on the South Island.

Palmerston North is not far from the wineries and beaches of Hawkes Bay, the historic Maori sites in Taranaki, the ski fields of the Central Plateau, and Mt. Taranaki.  Every kind of accommodation is provided by the city and its surrounding areas, which includes hostels, motels, top class hotels, farmstays, homestays, and Bed & Breakfasts.

There is plenty to do while visiting Palmerston North, which offers an array of attractions and activities.  There is the Manawatu Museum, walkways, indoor carting and climbing, parks, galleries, and golf courses, which are only a few of the possibilities.  The city also hosts plenty of entertainment, with its popular Stockcar races, Esplanade Open Day, and the yearly International Festival.


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