Plan a Romantic Getaway or Honeymoon to Palmerston North
An endearing stop on that lengthy drive between the Central North Island and Wellington, Palmerston North offers a few surprises for couples. While not on the radar of most travellers visiting New Zealand, Palmerston North is kept authentic and mostly free from the tourist crowds. This gives couples the chance to experience the city and its surrounding rural towns and countryside in tranquillity where hidden gems like limestone caves and glowworms, luxury lodges and gorgeous gardens can be found. If you want to stay awhile, there are lavish hotels to boutique B&Bs, ensuring the tone is set right for a romantic retreat.
So plan your honeymoon or romantic getaway, including activities, restaurants and accommodation, with this honeymoon guide to Palmerston North.
Things to Do in Palmerston North for Couples
- Cycle the Manawatu River Pathway
- Wander around the rose gardens and native bird hospital at Victoria Esplanade
- Road trip north to see dramatic limestone landscape and glowworms at the Limestone Creek Reserve
- Indulge in a couples spa packages at the Hiwinui Country Estate
- Cosy up with a movie and wine at the Focal Point Cinema & Cafe
- Treat your loved one to dinner at Palmerston North’s romantic restaurants
- Watch the sunset from Himutangi Beach or Anzac Park.
For more information on each experience and its location, see the 7 Romantic Activities in Palmerston North for Couples.
Romantic Adventure Activities
For couples who love to experience the great outdoors together, Palmerston North has some amazing landscapes to discover. Start with something easy, like a bike ride along the Manawatu River. The Manawatu River Pathway is a 10km (6-mile) long sealed and compacted limestone walk/cycleway on the banks of a picturesque river passing through various parks, small tracts of forest and more. Walk the trail or hire e-bikes from the Palmerston North i-SITE, Green Bikes or Electric Bike Plus Palmerston North.
A highlight on the Manawatu River Pathway, which is an activity in its own right, is the Victoria Esplanade Gardens. Smell the roses with your loved one in the Dugald McKenzie Rose Garden, have a picnic or grab a coffee from Cafe Esplanade, and see the cute native birds and reptiles at the free-entry Wildbase Recovery.
For an adventure outside of the city, hit the road to the Limestone Creek Reserve. Take a 600m (656-yard) loop track to discover limestone caves, towering moss-covered stream gorges and displays of glowworms. You’ll need to take your gumboots or be prepared to get your feet wet but that’s all part of the adventure through the caves’ shallow streams.
And what romantic New Zealand getaway is complete without watching a stellar sunset? One of the best places to go to watch the sun setting at Palmerston North is from Himatangi Beach. This black sand beach 30 minutes from the city features driftwood art that locals typically put together, which look especially good as a silhouette to a colourful sunset. Another stunning place to see the sunset is from Anzac Park, perched on a hill overlooking the city. It’s the base of the Manawatu Observatory, making it also a prime location for some romantic stargazing.
For more endearing ideas, check out the 7 Romantic Activities in Palmerston North for Couples.
Romantic All-weather Activities
When the weather isn’t playing ball, don’t let it dampen your honeymoon. Palmerston North also has a fantastic array of romantic indoor attractions, including the Focal Point Cinema & Cafe in Feilding and Palmerston North city centre. Cosy up in plush lounge chairs with new and classic blockbusters. Indulge in a coffee and cake or treat yourselves to something from their wine bar in this romantic boutique cinema and cafe experience.
Relax and rejuvenate together in a spa experience at the Hiwinui Country Estate. The luxury lodge just outside of the city features a luxurious day spa where couples can opt for the “Couples Treat”. The experience begins with a relaxing soak in a private outdoor spa pool with a glass of bubbles before a blissful one-hour massage experienced side-by-side in the lodge’s double treatment room.
For more rainy day ideas, see the 10 Things to Do in Palmerston North on a Rainy Day.
Romantic Restaurants in Palmerston North
One of the highlights of Palmerston North is its cuisine. From food trucks to fine dining, the city offers a huge range of culinary experiences which you can dive deeper into with The Foodie Guide to Palmerston North. However, if you’re seeking a special place for date night, there are a few worthy restaurants that come to mind.
They say France is the most romantic country in the world, so let Dejeuner (44 The Square) transport you there with their classic French cuisine with a contemporary twist. The soft lighting and French music set the scene, while the spaced-out dining tables ensure a bit of privacy.
For something more casual but still sophisticated, try Little Savanna (45-47 Princess Street) for their intriguing South African fusion food. Yatai Japanese Izakaya Restaurant (316 Featherston Street) is also a place to impress, specialising in fine dining Japanese cuisine designed to be shared.
For more fine dining options, like the Nero Restaurant, Table 188, Aberdeen and more, check out The Luxury Guide to Palmerston North.