Council & City


Missoula and Palmerston North have been Sister Cities since 1982, though the relationship began with exchanges between geography staff at Massey University and the University of Montana. Like Palmerston North, Missoula is a riverside university city and home to many outdoor enthusiasts. It has a similar size population of approximately 71,000 and a vibrant city centre for dining, shopping, events and the arts.

Official delegations, trade visits and cultural events have occurred between Palmerston North and Missoula over the years, resulting in a number of people-to-people links that exist today between the cities. Missoula celebrates 'New Zealand Day' in May each year in recognition of the Sister City relationship with Palmerston North.

Palmerston North and Missoula continue to share education exchanges, tourism, cultural links, and a common interest in making our cities vibrant, liveable and sustainable.

Key information

Missoula is situated in Western Montana and is home to the main campus of the University of Montana.

Nicknamed the “Garden City”, Missoula is located in a deep valley near the Clark Fork River, the Bitterroot River, the Blackfoot River and the Rattlesnake Wilderness area.

The first inhabitants of the Missoula area were Native Americans from the Salish tribe. They called the area "Nemissoolatakoo," from which "Missoula" is derived.

Missoula has an ample tourism industry based on hunting and fishing, and is located within the fly fishing Golden Triangle. The nearest ski area is Montana Snowbowl.

Missoula has a thriving arts scene as well as a diverse and influential music scene. The International Wildlife Film Festival is held annually at the historic Wilma Theatre. The Missoula Children's Theatre is an international touring program that visits nearly 1,000 communities per year.