Michal Klajban on Wikipedia© Michal Klajban on Wikipedia
Michal Klajban on Wikipedia

5 Best Things to Do in Shannon

© Michal Klajban on Wikipedia
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Article Single Pages© NZPocketGuide.com
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Shannon Activities You Can’t Miss

A prime example of a charming New Zealand town, Shannon hits on State Highway 57 between Palmerston North and Levin on the North Island. In between exploring the town with its array of boutique stores, cafes and antique shops, there are plenty of fun things to do in Shannon!

With the Tararua Forest Park just a stone’s throw away, Shannon is a great base for doing some tramping through the forest. Additionally, the local bird and wildlife park is a true hidden gem, as is the local golf course! However, if you want to explore the greater area, be sure to have a look at our list of 10 Fun Things to Do in Levin and 5 Fun Things to Do in Foxton.

1. Visit the Historic Shannon Railway Station

Set among the scenic gardens in Te Marie Park, the Shannon Railway Station is the last remaining station of the Wellington & Manawatu Railway Company. The station, built in 1886, has a little museum and visitor centre, which is open 10am-3pm daily. The station is still used as a stop on for the Palmerston North – Wellington commuter train.

Location: State Highway 57, Shannon Town Centre.

Michal Klajban on Wikipedia© Michal Klajban on Wikipedia

2. Walk the Mangahao Makahika Track

Part of the Te Araroa Trail (a trail that goes through the entire length of New Zealand), the Mangahao Makahika Track is a 6-7 hours one-way trail between Shannon and Levin. Follow the trail alongside the hillsides of the Tararua Forest Park.

Location: The easiest side to start on is from the Shannon side on Mangahao Road, past the Arapeti Dam.

Vanderplacenta on Wikipedia© Vanderplacenta on Wikipedia

3. Hike the Burtton’s Track

This 17km (10.5 miles) hiking and mountain biking trail extends through the Tararua Forest Park between Palmerston North and Shannon. The trail takes 6-7 hours to complete one way, taking you deep into native forest and following the Tokomaru River. There are a couple of streams to cross.

Location: Starting from Shannon, the track is at the junction of Mangahao & Tokomaru Valley Roads.

NZPocketGuide.com© NZPocketGuide.com

4. Play a Round of Golf

Have a great day out in the outdoors at the Buckley Golf Club! With views of the Tararua Ranges, this 16-hole course has fun challenges for both beginners and seasoned golfers. Enjoy this undulating course with meandering bends and even a crocodile?! For more golf courses worth playing at, see 21 Best Golf Courses in New Zealand.

Location: Engles Road.

Pexels© Pexels

[CLOSED] See Native Birds at Owlcatraz

Visit this native bird and wildlife park set among native bush and farmland on a self-guided or guided walk. The highlight is the owl enclosure with no glass and cages so there are no barriers between you and the birds. The enclosure even mimics the weather patterns experienced in the birds’ natural environment. Owlcatraz is open daily 10am-3pm.

Location: 44 Margaret Street.

 Adam Campbell on Flickr© Adam Campbell on Flickr

More Things to Do Near Shannon

That’s it for the best things to do in Shannon. For more activities on your travels, check out the 51 Best Things to Do in the North Island.


The information in this guide has been compiled from our extensive research, travel and experiences across New Zealand and the South Pacific, accumulated over more than a decade of numerous visits to each destination. Additional sources for this guide include the following:

Our editorial standards: At NZ Pocket Guide, we uphold strict editorial standards to ensure accurate and quality content.

About The Author

Laura S.

This article has been reviewed and published by Laura, the editor-in-chief and co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. Laura is a first-class honours journalism graduate and a travel journalist with expertise in New Zealand and South Pacific tourism for over 10 years. She also runs travel guides for five of the top destinations in the South Pacific and is the co-host of over 250 episodes of the NZ Travel Show on YouTube.

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