First off – yes, the city name is spelled two different ways! I had to look it up, because I kept getting confuzzled. http://www.visitwhanganui.nz/ explains it this way:
‘WHANGANUI’ AND ‘WANGANUI’
You may notice two different spellings of ‘Whanganui’, or ‘Wanganui’. Since the mid-1800s there have been two different spellings in use for the name of our area. The different spellings arose from the way in which local iwi pronounce the word ‘Whanganui’ (the ‘wh’ creating a barely aspirated sound), and the way in which European settlers wrote down the word as they heard it – ‘Wanganui’.
More recently, the name of our district was deemed by the Government to be ‘Whanganui’. This is why you will see the name of our city spelt with and without an H as you travel around. Either way – it is still the same place, Whanganui or Wanganui!
I will also own the fact that I totally took advantage of a very lazy Sunday morning here at Rose Cottage – but I did shower before noon – if barely. 🙂
A little on this lovely Air Bnb – I got it for 2 nights for less than $50 total and that is in NZ dollars, so about 37.00 – what a bargain. I have my own room with a lovely sitting area, and an ensuite bathroom with a fantastic rain shower – and MY OWN kitchen – like full totally stocked kitchen. That NEVER happens! My host, the lovely Kay is adorable, and just lovely to chat with as well – so triple bonus!
Once I shook off my laziness, I headed out to wander around. Being Sunday, and the winter, the downtown area was dead – there was a bargain store and a few restaurants open, but that was it.
I decided to start hitting the scenic route, starting with Virginia Lake, which I had passed coming into town, and was struck by the Gazebo. I wandered around the lake and the meandering paths – enjoying the swans, ducks, and the very cool, and very blue Pukekos – which are just fascinating bright blue birds. The lake was peaceful and the trails were the perfect place to just get lost. I could, and did, spend several hours just wandering around.
After wandering around the lake trails, I decided to check out the Winter Gardens, a little building up the hill – I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was so impressed. The flowers, the colors and the garden art just made me smile – and it was 100% free – always a good little treat. (and I might have gone overboard with the flower pictures, but the colors made me happy!)
After hitting the garden, I stopped in the little cafe – for my daily “what am I going to do without NZ flat whites” fix – and took a picture of the quintessential Kiwi cafe selection. There are some pretty unique kiwi cafe treats in there!
I sat outside as it got dark watching the people and the birds, until I was just too chilled, then headed back to my air bnb to plan my route for tomorrow – I have a short drive and no deadline for arrival in my next stop, quaint little Levin, so I am planning some stops and wanders.