Palmerston North in Pictures

Palmerston North's location in New Zealand

Palmerston North is located in the North Island of New Zealand and it’s the seventh-largest city in the country. A third of its population is between 15 and 30 years old, and students account for 36 % of its population. The city’s students come from over 60 countries, which makes it a cosmopolitan and vibrant community. People of like minds meet at many cultural events or sporting clubs, events, cinemas and theaters. The low cost of living compared to other cities in New Zealand and the safe and friendly environment are what draws students to the area.

The Plaza is the largest shopping centre in the Manawatu-Wanganui region and a key shopping centre in the lower North Island, boasting over 100 stores.

The Square

The Square is a seven-hectare park of lawn, trees, lakes, fountains and gardens in the centre of the city. It is the centre point whence the city’s main streets are arranged. Near the centre of the park is the Clock Tower with its illuminated cross and coloured lights. You can also find the city’s iSite, the Civic Building, the City Library, Square Edge, and the commercial heart of Palmerston North’s CBD there. Retail stores (including the Plaza) and eateries line the road surrounding the park.

Parks and Recreational Facilities

Palmerston North and its surrounding areas feature roughly 100 parks and reserves. The most popular of them is Victoria Esplanade located along the northern bank of the Manawatu River, west of Fitzherbert Avenue. The esplanade gardens include serene native bush surrounding family-friendly facilities, an aviary, a café, a duck pond, the Palmerston North Esplanade Scenic Railway, the Peter Black Conservatory and walking tracks within the bush.

Nearby the Esplanade are the multi-sport playing fields of Ongley and Manawaroa Parks, the twin turf hockey fields and Fitzherbert Park, the premier cricket ground. The Hokowhitu Lagoon is also located nearby the Esplanade and is a popular site for recreational kayaking and canoeing.

The Lido Aquatic Centre is Palmerston North’s largest aquatic centre. It provides outdoor facilities including a family leisure pool, a 50 m pool for competitive swimming and a dive pool. Indoor facilities include a second family leisure pool, spa pool, heated pool and cafe. Freyberg Community Pool is an all-year indoor swimming pool complex located next to Freyberg High School in Roslyn.

Victoria Esplanade in Manuwatu, Palmerston North

Food and Drinks

Palmerston North is dotted with charming cafes, boutique eateries, popular delicatessens and also many take away eateries in close proximity to the campus. Even the most discerning connoisseurs will be delighted with the variety of dining options in the city. You can take your taste buds on a tour around the world with the international cuisine and indulge in some classic New Zealand lamb, seafood and steaks. The locals are very much into coffee and award-winning baristas are making their mark on the café culture of the city. You will also find a range of country cafes and pubs amongst some of the most scenic landscapes the region has to offer.

Transportation and Getting Around

By plane

Palmerston North Airport is 5 kilometres, or a 10-minute drive from the city centre and is the gateway to the Region and Central New Zealand. The airport has up to 40 scheduled flights per day from all major centres in the country. The airport is serviced by Air New Zealand, OriginAir and Jetstar. Taxi and shuttle services to the city depart from in front of the airport terminal building and many of the major New Zealand vehicle rental companies are represented at the airport.

Palmerston North Manuwatu airport

By train

An old steam train traveling in New Zealand

Palmerston North City is a stop on the famous Northern Explorer train between Auckland and Wellington taking in some of NZ’s most beautiful scenery. The Northern Explorer operates a six-day timetable, departing Auckland on Monday, Thursday, Saturday, and Wellington on Tuesday, Friday, Sunday. Travelling to and from Wellington is easy on the Capital Connection – a two-hour commuter rail service between Palmerston North City and Wellington that runs Monday – Friday (excluding public holidays).

By bus

The Manawatu region has a good variety of national bus services, with NakedBus, ManaBus and Intercity giving access to the rest of the North Island.

Buses to town leave from the campus bus stop.

Most locals drive a car or use the bus services but in a small city such as Palmerston North, you can also easily walk some distances. If students wish to drive a car, they are required to obtain New Zealand Driver’s License and parking permit and provide IPU with proof of car insurance.

Buses in Palmerston North