Mangaweka is a trendy artist community located on New Zealands North Island, which lies along the banks of the Rangitikei River, at an hours drive from Palmerston North. The landscape and scenery in this area is particularly stunning, so much so that some scenes from the Lord of the Rings were filmed here.
There are trail and tunnels to explore down the abandoned North Island Main Trunk railway lines, as well as the Makohine Viaduct, probably the largest in New Zealand.
The river provides a perfect site for all kinds of water sports such as rafting, kayaking, jet boating and of course swimming. Trout fishing is also very popular along the river, while up the Rangitikei River canyon you will find the gigantic Papa cliffs, a perfect site for bungy jumping.
Horseback riding is a great way to appreciate the genuine New Zealand backcountry of the area, with its dramatic mountain ranges and native beech forests.
The town is also of great cultural and historical interest, its main street being exactly as it was constructed many years ago. There are thriving art galleries to visit and typical cafés to sit in and watch the ambling tourists.
Sam Hunt, the famous New Zealand poet and Robin White the artist of the iconic painting Mangaweka, are amongst the celebrities to have lived in Mangaweka. There is also an interesting annual exhibition in October to November named the "Fakes & Forgeries Art Exhibition and Festival" which seems to raise quite a few criticisms amongst the population.