The name Manawatu translates to "Heart stood still", and as a region the Manawatu offers visitors and residents a unique mix of lifestyle by combining rural charm with the convenience of sophisticated city living found in Palmerston North City.
The main centre is Palmerston North City located in the Manawatu and is where MDHB's largest secondary care facility Palmerston North Hospital is located. The region as a whole has plenty to offer, from supurb shopping in the city to a variety of recreational activities further afield. Furthermore, the location of the MidCentral district allows for easy access to other regions including the Hawkes Bay, New Zealand's capital city Wellington, and the skifields at Mt Ruapehu.
Located in the lower half of the North Island, half way between Taupo and Wellington, Palmerston North has a population over 80,000. The landscape develops from the impressive Ruahine and Tararua ranges, striking Manawatu gorge, picturesque Pohangina Valley through the Manawatu river to the coastal plains and long expansive beaches of Himitangi, Foxton and Tangimoana. Scattered throughout the region are a number of townships, these offer a number of activities and add to the rich character of the region.
Manawatu enjoys a temperate climate with moderate seasonal variations. The average daily February temperature of 22 degrees drops to 12 degrees in July. On average there are 200 rain free days with July having the highest average rainfall.
Only 2 hours scenic drive from Wellington or 3 from Taupo makes Palmerston North a great base to explore the North Island from.
The area is economically supported by an agricultural base, that houses the largest stock sale yards in the Southern Hemisphere and home to a dynamic student population with 70 major educational and research institutions. This identity also forms the basis of Manawatu’s brand “Young Heart – Easy Living”.