Day 59 on the Road
Exploring the City of Whanganui
On today’s episode of New Zealand’s Biggest Gap Year where we are doing 365 Days: 365 Activities, we are exploring the city of Whanganui and all it’s free and cheap things to do!
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Today we are finally going to explore the city of Wanganui which is where the Whanganui River enters the sea.
[Awful singing] Don’t know which way we’re facing. Which way are we facing? Laura’s in charge of the map today she’s directing us through the beautiful Wanganui town. Ok let’s go. I know where we’re going. Erm We’re just going to go up one more time and then we’re going to turn right. today we are going to be following the advice of Matt which is the one of the owners of the 42b college house hostel where we are currently staying when we checked in he actually took the time to write a whole map and a whole lot of things that we should be seeing around the area the city centre of Wanganui so he took the time to give us so many recommendations that it would be rude of us not to check them out. Right? So we are going to be following his advice and going to all the little streets that he told us to and check out all the main highlights of the city. Halfway down Victoria avenue is this big square with a few museums and art galleries and we see a big sign saying free entry into the Whanganui Museum so of course we head into there. it’s about the social history of the region so we have obviously the Maori side of things the Maori artifacts that were found in the region for instance they have three giant war canoes slash Maori wakas. there’s that whole section that whole really fascinating Maori history really cool to see because it’s so far from our own history and then we get the European settlers history side. We’re done at the museum and keep on walking down Victoria Avenue we stumble upon a lot of pretty old buildings and you know the phone booth and then a lovely steampunk shop so steampunk is always a culture that has interested me it’s really kind of alternative and always looks really cool you know I mean like Mad Max fan and those kind of things so that’s pretty awesome. All down this street there’s loads of different Victorian style buildings I think they’re all colourful and flamboyant. Yeah, this is not really what we expecting from Wanganui but it’s pretty awesome. this main street’s like really nice look at it’s a pleasure to walk down. There’s a historic elevator and as tourists we have to take the most touristy way to get up to the top. So walking toward the [Durie Hill] elevator there is a massive Maori wall which I am not 100% sure why it’s there you know I don’t know what’s the Maori significance of that specific tunnel and everything I couldn’t find out some information but it looks really cool with tikis and poles and totems and all the faces are sculptures different which is pretty epic so we make our way toward the tunnels looks at each of those faces that are looking back at us. Surprisingly, these like Maori carvings and this tunnel like where we spend the most our time today it’s really like it’s again just a simple thing it’s a tunnel but tunnels are so cool. The historic elevator is down a tunnel which goes on for ages and it is has the most hilarious echo it’s like a echo of a on second delay so if you make a really short burst of sound a second later you will hear at the other side of the tunnel and it just – we have so much fun with that it’s such a simple thing but we’re just shouting down this tunnel for ages.
Well looks like you need to pay with cash do we have any cash? Looks like we’re taking the stairs then after all that. Hey Laura. Hey Robin. You got cash! There’s a massive raucous when we hear the elevator arriving we step in and Laura pays the lady. i don’t think you can see how much it rocks on camera but seriously it was rocking quite a lot and I did not feel safe. But after this extreme elevator in Wanganui we are finally up the hill and ready to climb the [Durie Hill] Water tower.
We may have avoided taking the steps to get up to the water tower but there is no avoiding taking the steps to get to the top of the water tower. That’s the second water tower we are climbing in the last week I feel like i have a certain connection with water towers now. We went up the Hawera water tower and my god that was quite the climb but this one is just no breaks between steps this is just a relentless spiral staircase all the way to the top. At the top there’s like an amazing view of all around we see the city but then there’s like the huge Wanganui River that’s like winding it’s way through the city this is like a really awesome view and you can get up the water tower for free so we’re happy this is actually a really cool thing to do in Wanganui and i would recommend that to anyone coming here. So we are currently in Wanganui on the Whanganui River. But some people say Wanganui because it’s spelt w-h and people can’t pronounce “PH” so how do you spell the town that we are in right now? The town has changed its name from Whanganui to Wanganui so it’s no spelt w-a-n-g-a-n-u-i we got there at the end.
We arrive back at the hostel where tonight I am going to rock the subway style sandwiches finishing our bread from Manaia. Tomorrow, we are on our way to Ohakune which is the carrot capital of New Zealand. Oh my God, we’ve seen a lot of capitals in New Zealand so far Manaia bread capital has been my favourite one so far i can’t wait to see the carrot capital.