Whanganui History & Heritage
January 2021

The picturesque river city of Whanganui is one of New Zealand’s most captivating places to visit. The city’s history is a rich amalgam of Maori and settler cultures with the river being central to its historic, cultural, and artistic development. The Whanganui River was known as the ‘Rhine of New Zealand’ and served as an important transport route for Maori and European settlers. And it is still the heart of the city both physically and spiritually. Driving from Hamilton, we will wind along the river on the scenic River Road passing small river communities, stopping at Jerusalem. and viewing the many beautifully preserved Marae. Your first two nights’ accommodation will be on the Whanganui River at a unique lodge accessed by aerial cable car.

Whanganui is home to hundreds of working artists and the city is filled with galleries and buzzing with creative energy. The historic Sarjeant Gallery is home to one of the best collections of fine art in New Zealand. While the Regional Museum has an extensive collection of Lindauer paintings and taonga Maori.

The concentration of significant heritage buildings found in Whanganui is rare in New Zealand and on an easy walking tour around the city centre, you will find Victorian and Edwardian treasures coexisting with fine examples of mid twentieth century architecture. A knowledgeable local guide will share the stories of these intact heritage buildings.  A double decker bus tour will take you a little further afield to visit other historic sites such as the Pakaitore (Moutoa Gardens), Pukenamu Queen’s Park and the Durie Hill elevator. You will also visit Maori sites of significance such as St Paul’s Memorial Church at Putiki. This is a fine example of a fusion of Maori and European architecture. The interior incorporates outstandingly beautiful carvings and tukutuku wall panels.  While you are in Whanganui, the annual Vintage Weekend will take place showcasing other heritage attractions.

This tour offers a chance to explore in some depth a lesser known New Zealand city steeped in history, art, and culture.

DATES Tuesday 19 – Tuesday 26 January 2021


  • The services of an experienced Calder & Lawson Tours tour manager
  • 7 nights hotel accommodation
  • Meals as specified in the itinerary
  • Local guides
  • All group transfers
  • Admissions as detailed in the itinerary
  • Activities and sightseeing tours with local guides as detailed in the itinerary
  • Pre-tour material


  • Domestic travel to Hamilton (flights can be booked for you at an additional cost)
  • Travel insurance
  • Meals not specified in the itinerary
  • Beverages during included meals, unless specified
  • Personal expenses
  • If you wish to pay by credit card, a surcharge of 2.5% will be charged

Share twin per person               NZD $3,290
Single supplement                     NZD $   890

Please contact Calder & Lawson Tours if you are interested in a single occupancy place, as they are very limited and we may have sold out of available spaces.

GROUP SIZE Minimum 10, maximum 14