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About Palmerston North New Zealand

Arial view of Palmerston North. Copyright: Destination Manawatu
Arial view of Palmerston North. Copyright: Destination Manawatu

Palmerston North city is located in the South-East of the North Island of New Zealand, overlooking the beautiful Manawatu River and Gorge.

It was once little more than a forest clearing occupied by the local Maori Iwi Ngati Rangitane, who named it "Papa-I-Oea" believed to mean "How beautiful it is".

Bestowed with the name “Palmerston” in honour of Viscount Palmerston, a former British Prime Minister, the suffix "North" was later added to the settlement to distinguish it from the South Island town of Palmerston.

Informally shortened to "Palmy", it is the eighth largest urban area with a population of 81,500 and boasts a rich arts and theatre scene including Te Manawa Museum and Art Gallery, the New Zealand Rugby Museum and many charming boutiques, cafes and great restaurants.

A vibrant university city, Palmerston North is home to more than 70 major educational and research institutions. These include Massey University, the Massey University Sport and Recreation Institute at the Massey University campus, Turitea, Universal College of Learning (UCOL) and Linton Army Camp.

Many of Palmerston North's original stores built in the 1920's and 1930's have been restored. Now they are charming boutiques, cafes and great restaurants.


Palmerston North enjoys a temperate climate. Temperature in the day averages 22 °C (72 °F) in summer and 12 °C (54 °F) in winter. Average temperatures here rise above 25 °C (77 °F) on 20 days of the year.

Get the 3-day weather forecast for Palmerston North:


There are many parks, gardens, historic houses, museums and other places of interest in and around Palmerston North, New Zealand.

Popular attractions in Palmerston North include the Manawatu Gorge, The Victoria Esplanade Gardens, Cross Hills Gardens and the Ruahine Forest Park.

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