NZ Life & Leisure
A city bubbling with business and university students, Palmerston North is an obvious place to start or end one’s journey. Not to be missed is Te Manawa Art Gallery, the city’s public art gallery and science centre, which houses some of the city’s most prized art and heritage collections. ( Tip: Call ahead to arrange a free behind-the-scenes tour.) Down the road on Church Street is communityarts centre Square Edge, a three-storey labyrinth containing a gallery, café, stores, studio spaces open for wandering and a courtyard adorned with street art. Leave plenty of time to meander around the CBD to find street art or eyecatching buildings around most corners.
Feilding, a nearby town voted New Zealand’s most beautiful city more than a dozen times, is home to much more than pretty architecture and brick pathways. Head to the Art Studio
& Gallery for works by painter and printmaker Joe McMenamin, who is often at work and keen for a yarn.
Over in Ashhurst, ceramicist Suzanne
McAllen’s villa serves as her home, studio and a gallery shop that she’s set up on her front verandah. Visitors may leave with some ceramic treasures — and, if lucky, some produce from her garden out back.
In Foxton, residents are proud of the Te Awahou Riverside Cultural Park, and rightly so. As the name suggests, here visitors learn about culture, including that of local Māori, as well as Dutch settlers, and what the Dutch have contributed to Kiwi culture. Before a stroll along Foxton Beach, make time for an espresso and chat with photographer Reuben James at his fine-art gallery and espresso bar, L’Arte. ( Tip: If it’s closed, Reuben is likely out surfing.)