International Studies Abroad ®est. 1987

Culture Corner

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Tiny Travel Story: New Zealand

What's Palmerston North Like?

One of New Zealand's fastest growing cities, Palmerston North is a center of industry, innovation, and scholarship, while maintaining the relaxed lifestyle common to New Zealand. Though Europeans did not settle in the region until the middle of the 19th century, a few Maori communities lived in the area and referred to it as Papaioea, which translates to English as "how beautiful it is," a particularly apt name.

Laid out across a plain between two mountain ranges, Palmerston North offers visitors a chance to explore and enjoy nature while taking advantage of the urban city environment. Around the iconic Square at the center of the city are numerous art galleries, shops, and entertainment venues utilized by the city's growing music culture. Nearby outdoor activities include rafting, hiking, mountain biking, and rock climbing.

Region and Population

Palmerston North is home to over 80,000 people, one third of which are between the ages of 15 and 30 years old, which has earned the city the nickname the Student City. It is the seventh largest city in New Zealand and the country's eighth largest urban area. It is the fourth fastest growing city in the country. It is the largest city in the Manawatu-Wanganui region of the North Island.


Palmerston North experiences a temperate climate. During the summer months (December, January, and February), temperatures remain around 64 degrees Fahrenheit (17.8 degrees Celsius), while in the winter (June, July, and August), temperatures stay close to 48 degrees Fahrenheit (9 degrees Celsius). The mountain ranges that surround the city, the Ruahine and the Tararua, experience sustained winds, particularly during the spring.
Avg. Rainfall2.1652.6692.0392.5942.8153.7443.2483.0283.393.7953.1853.445

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