It is Wanganui city and Whanganui river, right?
As a child I was taught to spell the name without the h, and as an adult
I came to know the river as having the h.
Very confusing, so I have been doing some research.
Since the mid-1800s both spellings have been used
interchangeably in the district, but in 2015 it was officially decided that the
spelling would be Whanganui as it better suited public opinion and the local
iwi (local Maori tribes).
The name was officially gazetted on 19 November 2017 so I
will have to get used to using the new spelling!
This was Day Five of our trip and we spent our time in and
around Whanganui. There is a very
pleasant boardwalk alongside the river in the centre of town.
The Whanganui River is tidal here, as it is close to the sea. Rising from Mt Tongariro in the centre of the
North Island, it is New Zealand’s third longest river.
Along the riverside we found some different art
This one is called Bearing, produced in 2011 by David
McCracken to represent the winding path of the river as it makes it way to the
This bronze kereru (native wood pigeon), created by Paul
Dibble, won the People’s Choice Award in the 2010 Sculpture competition.
These stainless steel pencils were also made in 2010. Their creator, Daniel Clifford, called his
creation Balancing Act and said the pencils reflected the idea that Maori is
traditionally an oral culture while European is traditionally a written
This Mama Duck came over to see if anyone had any food to
offer (we didn’t). The little ones’ legs
were going as fast as they could to try and keep up with her.
Our next stop was at Virginia Lake, which I will write about
in my next post.
This was followed by a visit to nearby Castlecliff Beach, a
black sand beach covered in driftwood.
Although we only saw a few people around, there was a Surf Life Saving
Club based here so presumably this beach is used for swimming during the
In the distance we could see another tower but could not
find it on our map, so we went searching and eventually found this at the top
of a hill.
The Bastia Hill Water Tower was built in 1927 and holds 2000
tonnes of water in its top tank. The
tower is not open to public access as it is now home to a lot of telecommunications
equipment, but it can be viewed from the road.
We had a good day wandering around. Whanganui has a very restful peaceful
atmosphere about it, at least in the parts we visited!
Have a happy day 😊