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One Rainy Day Trip To Palmy (Palmerston North)

The last week of August called for an out of town day trip to Palmerston North, famously called Palmy. I knew nothing about Palmy except that I have a friend who lives there. So I consulted tripadvisor for some recommendations on things to do in Palmy. I was surprised that their i-Site Visitor Centre is number 6 on the list. I wanted to find out why.

Our (intercity) bus left Wellington at 0730 and we arrived in Palmy just before 10am. The first place that we visited was indeed the i-Site Visitor Centre because we needed to use the toilet. To be fair, it is quite a good i-Site. It is roomy and it has good facilities like spacious toilets, showers and lockers. I definitely wouldn't hesitate to stop by here for some comfort especially if the weather is not that good. They also have a mother and child room where mothers can prepare milk for their children (they have hot water dispenser) and feed (or change) them peacefully. Quite impressive.

When we got out of the i-Site, my first impression was that Palmy is quiet. Too quiet for my liking in fact. There was not many people in sight and the gloomy weather made it difficult for me to appreciate the place. It was like meh. Anyhow, we decided to explore The Square while we waited for my friend to pick us up.

My friend Eirenne said that we should at least see the North Tower Clock and while I was imagining a tall structure and a massive clock, this is what we saw:

Mind you, there was some gentle classical music playing in the background which added warmth to the wet and cold weather. I instantly felt a lot better.

It seemed to me that everything I needed to see in Palmerston North was just in  one big square. The streets past the square looked empty. Nevertheless, we enjoyed wandering around the square taking photos of ducks, fountains, giant chess set and some native artworks. 

And then my friend arrived with her husband. Although it was raining quite hard and was very cold, I am grateful that they took us to see the wind farm in Te Apiti, 10km away from the city. The fog up the hill made it almost impossible to see the wind turbines but it made the trip to Palmerston North more worthwhile.

Due to time constraints (and bad weather), we were not able to go anywhere else after the wind farm, but we had a delicious lunch at Saigon Corner in Princess Street. Seemingly small and simple, the restaurant served very good (and cheap) food and proved to be popular. 

From Princess Street, we walked back to the square via Broadway Avenue. I assumed that this was their main street. We were told that Palmy is a place to go to for shopping but it wasn't as obvious as I thought. I kept asking Eirenne where the shops were because I couldn't see any. Apparently, they have The Plaza which is located at the square. But obviously, we were not that interested in shopping because we missed it. However, we didn't miss this interesting sculpture in front of the Regent on Broadway:

By mid afternoon, the rain has stopped although it remained cloudy. We met up with Eirenne's friend, who drove us to Victoria Esplanade Gardens. Because it was still winter when we went, "there was nothing much to see there". So we chose to take a walk along the Manawatu River instead. 

And that was the end of our journey to Palmy.

We originally planned to stay overnight in Palmy but I'm glad we didn't. For me, one day is enough to see what I needed to see in Palmerston North. Luckily, we had friends who drove us around. It was definitely a bonus.

Would I go back to Palmy? Yes, only to stop over in between trips and to see the cherry blossom trees in Victoria Esplanade Gardens. :)

tintin x


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