Visit Levin, Manawatu, NZ

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  • Levin is on the southern Manawatu Plain, in a district known as Horowhenua. It is located about 10 km from the coast and 10 km from the Tararua Range of mountains inland.

    The Horowhenua District is known for its coastal resorts of Paraparaumu, Waikanae and Foxton to the south of Levin, and Waitarere Beach to the north. Lake Horowhenua, only 2 km from the town centre, is popular for boating and picnics. Lake Papaitonga is a nature reserve about 2 km to the south.

    Attractions within the town include an adventure playground with a skate park, an aquatic centre, with indoor pools and slides, a Maori arts and crafts gallery, and four golf courses within easy reach.


    Accommodation in Levin (NZ)

    Levin has a wide range of motels and bed & breakfast establishments in the town centre and on its outskirts. There are many holiday cottages and self-contained apartments for rent.

    Levin has two holiday parks for camping and backpacking. Freedom camping is also possible at Parikawau and Kimberley Reserves, subject to restrictions on type of camping (eg, motor home) and length of stay.


    Transport around Levin

    Levin is located on State Highway 1 at the main junction between Wellington, Palmerston North and Wanganui. The 90 km journey from Wellington takes about 75 minutes, while the journey south from Wanganui is about the same length. The city of Palmerston North is about 50 km or 45 minutes’ drive away.

    Inter-city coach services make regular connections with these cities, stopping at locations en route, such as Paraparaumu and Foxton.

    A long-distance commuter rail service connects Levin with Wellington and Palmerston North. The Overlander train between Auckland and Christchurch also stops at Levin.

    Levin’s nearest airport is at Palmerston North, with regular services to and from main cities in the North Island.


    Tourist Activities around Levin

    The Horowhenua District has been promoted as “the nature coast”. There are many opportunities to view native birds of shore and forest, especially at Kapiti Island, an offshore nature reserve where rare species such as kiwi can be viewed. Only guided tours are permitted to land on the island.

    A private collection of parrots can be seen at Levin. A short drive to the north, at Shannon, is an owl park where native owls can be viewed close up. Levin also has an animal park and petting zoo at Murrayfield, along with a colonial museum and model village.

    Levin’sadventure playground is popular for family fun, with train rides, roller blading, climbing wall and flying fox (zip line). A skate park and an aquatic centre are other attractions for children.

    Short walks can be taken at Levin’s Domain, by the side of Lake Horowhenua, or at the nature reserve at Lake Papaitonga. For longer walks, the Tararua Ranges are crossed with many trails. The Tararua Northern Crossing is closest to Levin, a tramp of 3-5 days.

    The fertile soils around Levin supply the city of Wellington with much of its milk and meat, vegetables and fruit. The farmer’s market held monthly at Ohau, just south of Levin, is a great way to sample local food and wine. There are also many restaurants in the town that serve fresh local food.

    Levin has a busy horse racing club and racecourse. Motor racing is also becoming more popular and there are race meetings throughout the year. Levin also hosts a balloon festival in April each year.

    Although it is primarily an agricultural service town, Levin also has manufacturing and engineering industries. It is known for clothing manufacture, and a number of factory outlet stores are found within the town.

    Levin is one of the best locations for golfing in New Zealand, with at least six courses in the Horowhenua Region, at Levin, Kapiti, Paraparaumu, Waikanae, Otaki and Foxton.

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