On this edition of Kiwi Tripsters we celebrate regional New Zealand and the magnificence of the mighty Manawatū. From the mountain bike trails of Arapuke and glorious walks alongside the gorge to the market magic of Fielding and the beauty of Palmy’s Arts Trail, Manawatū is waiting for you.

Manawatu River, Ashhurst, New Zealand
Manawatu River, Ashhurst. Photo: ManawatuNZ

The mighty Manawatū is loaded galore with outdoorsy adventure options. The Arapuke Forest Park is the premier mountain bike destination in the lower North Island with over 30kms of well-formed trails, spanning all grades of difficulty. For hikers, Arapuke is also home to the stirring Sledge Track. We also profile the Te Āpiti-Manawatū Gorge walking trails, headlined by the spectacular Tawa Loop Track.

Arapuke Mountain Bike Park, New Zealand
Arapuke Mountain Bike Park. Photo: ManawatuNZ

Great drives. Manawatū has a collection of scenic touring routes that they call The Country Road, that thread together a range of hidden gems, convivial country cafes and pubs, quaint villages and towns, scenic reserves and walking tracks. The Manawatū Scenic Route is our favourite and we talk about the highlights. Plus, why you should visit Feilding on a Friday.

Manawatu scenic touring routes, New Zealand
Manawatu scenic touring routes. Photo: ManawatuNZ

Just minutes from Āpiti, treat yourself to a truly authentic wilderness lodge escape at Makoura Lodge. This magnificent property, nestled in the foothills of the Ruahine Range has been a going concern for the McIntyre clan for over 120 years. We talk to lodge owner, Hugh McIntyre.

Makaoura Lodge, Apiti, New Zealand
Makaoura Lodge, Apiti. Photo: Mike Yardley

Eye-candy in Palmy. Palmerston North’s creative credentials are impressive, best illustrated by the city’s enthralling arts trail, which leads you around over thirty installations adorning the city centre. We talk about our favourites and tell you why George Street is a sure-fire destination that will instantly seduce you. www.manawatu.co.nz

Te Manawa Art Gallery, Palmerston North New Zealand
Te Manawa Art Gallery, Palmerston North. Photo: ManawatuNZ

  • 00:55 The exhilarating mountain bike park in Arapuke forest
  • 05:42 Scenic back country touring routes of Manawatu
  • 12:38 Talk with Hugh McIntyre of Makoura Lodge
  • 21:20 Soaking up the enthralling arts trail of Palmerston North

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