Whanganui and its surrounding districts offer a plethora of attractions that are slightly off the beaten track.
Whether it be biking, hiking, swimming, or studying, there's something out there to spark the interest of everyone.
Here are a few must-visits for those who are stopping by or staying put over the holidays.
While Castlecliff and Kai Iwi beaches tend to attract the most visitors over the summer months, the hidden gem along Whanganui's coastline is Ototoka beach, found a little further north of Kai Iwi.
More often than not the beach is quiet (or completely empty), and aside from swimming or fishing, the nearby cliffs are a great spot for fossil hunting.
The Ototoka pool and waterfall are also worth a look on the short walk down to the sand.
Quartz Museum of Studio Ceramics
The Rick Rudd Foundation opened this, the only dedicated ceramics museum in the country, in November 2015.
400 works from the Rick Rudd Collection are on display, with works from private collections also featured in special exhibitions.
The museum (8 Bates St) is open from 10.30am to 4pm, Tuesday to Sunday, and entry is free. Rudd himself is always on hand to guide visitors through the pieces on display.
Located in Fordell (about 20 minutes outside of Whanganui), Paloma Gardens houses a collection of exotic plants from around the world, and visitors can explore different "zones", including Subtropica, the Desert House, and Bamboo Forests.
It is the brainchild of Nicki and Clive Higgie, and was named a Garden of National Significance by the New Zealand Gardens Trust.
Opening hours are "all daylight hours, every day of the year", and entry is $10 per person.
This isolated settlement, originally called Patiarero, can be found 66km up the Whanganui River Rd.
Renowned New Zealand poet James K. Baxter, along with his followers, formed a commune and retreat at Jerusalem in 1970, and he was buried nearby following his death in 1972.
A key feature of the area is St Joseph's Catholic Church, built in 1892. Accommodation is available at the old Sisters of Compassion convent, although booking in advance is essential.
The Waitahinga Trails provide a variety of different walks, with the longest loop a 4-4.5 hour journey on foot.
The land, all 700ha of it, is owned by the Whanganui District Council, and the tracks were made by Whanganui Tramping Club volunteers.
The majority of the trails are roofed with native forest canopy and the Waitahinga Dam offers the perfect spot for a breather and a snack.
The trails are located 12km past Bushy Park on Rangitatau East Rd, and are free for the public to use six days a week. Walks are shut on Tuesdays for pest control purposes.
Located on an old quarry site off Brunswick Rd in Aramoho, Hylton's Pit provides a series of mountain bike tracks for people of all ages and skill levels.
A full 9km cross-country circuit and a 900m professionally built flow trail have been thrown in for good measure.
All the tracks, including Easy Rider (for kids), Threader, and Drifter, were built by the Whanganui Mountain Bike Club.
New Zealand Glassworks -Te Whare Tūhua O Te Ao
The New Zealand Glassworks -Te Whare Tūhua O Te Ao, in the heart of Whanganui's CBD, is the country's first national centre for community glass-making.
At present the facility offers community experiences, workshops, and exhibitions. Visitors are given the chance to see the process of glass-art first hand, and established artists have access to a kiln on-site.
NZG is located at 2 Rutland St and is open every day of the week, from 10.30am to 4pm.
Ancient cannon-ball concretions, known as the Whitecliffs Boulders, can be found on privately-owned land near Mangaweka in the Rangitīkei district.
Visitors have the option of a 2km walk ($5) or an 8.5km hike ($10) through farmland to get to them, and 4WD transportation is also offered by prior arrangement.
"A reasonable degree of fitness" is required, and, in true Kiwi fashion, the walks are closed from August to the end of September due to lambing in the surrounding farmland.