Five things to do in Palmy this summer

Published on 09 January 2020

Driver at front of miniature train filled with families riding through the bush, surrounded by trees.

We asked our Facebook friends what their favourite things to do are in summer. Here are the five most popular choices.

Palmerston North Esplanade Scenic Railway

Wind through the gardens, bush and playground at Palmy’s beautiful Victoria Esplanade and help the railway celebrate its 50th anniversary. When the railway launched in 1969 the track was just 600m long and fares were five or 10 cents. In 2019 the railway is now a 2.2km loop with rides costing $3 for everyone aged two years or older. It’s open on weekends and during school and public holidays, and can be hired for private events.

Manawatū River

Grab your bike or furry friend and enjoy some fresh air as you walk or cycle along the 9km flat pathway. The path stretches from Maxwell’s Line to Riverside Drive but can be accessed from a number of side streets. While there, have a go on our mobile gym which is near the Fitzherbert Bridge, take your pup to the dog agility park and take a spin on the mountain bike tracks.

Te Manawa

Channel your Jurassic Park fantasies and get involved in the dino dig at Te Manawa. Each day (weather permitting) you can dig in large sandpits for fossils and dinosaurs that were once roaming the Manawatū. While there have a play in the Sunlight exhibition where you can play a game where you take charge of a photon and escape it.

Ahimate Beach

The pebbled beach lies on the banks of the Manawatū River with access through Ahimate Park by Maxwells Line. In the area are lots of walkways perfect for runners and cyclists and it is dog friendly too. 

Please be careful if you are swimming at Ahimate Reserve. Over 2021-22 summer, four people drowned here. Warning signs are now on site:

  • all rivers are unpredictable
  • the Manawatū River gets deep quickly and has a strong current
  • children need to be closely supervised
  • anybody entering the water should check for hazards such as unstable cliffs, sunken logs and debris

Skate Park

A pump track, pyramid ramp, pole jam, banks and slabs, and an advanced Street League obstacle are just some of the features of the city’s skate park. It’s on the Railway Land Reserve by Cook Street. It’s a hive of activity though so get in early with your younger kids.