What to do in Palmerston North?
Palmy to the locals and adopted locals, is a student town that also boasts an army base, which ensures the pubs will never go out of business. That, and the outstanding quality of the local Apiti Ale, which is best enjoyed in the shadow of the giant Te Apiti windfarm, watching headwaters blast through the narrow gorge at the dramatic Iron Gates.
Back in the city, New Zealand's Rugby Museum is in Palmerston North - with the earliest ever All Black jersey, Don Clarke's original boot, that sort of thing. It's housed in Te Manawa Museum of Art, Science and History - a fitting monument to knowledge in this smart, university town. Yes, we know the first year students are a bit of a write-off, but by the time they get to graduation most of them are doing some pretty interesting stuff.
Up the road, Feilding is a very charming little village. But don't take our word for it: Feilding has been named New Zealand's Most Beautiful Town a whopping 14 times. Paved streets, free parking, a cute little boutique movie theatre … they're yet to build a statue of local music stars Evermore, but surely it can't be far off. Actually, they should get the guy who made Riff Raff for Hamilton, he could save some money on design and put them all in that same outfit.