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Published: October 14th 2019
The absolute one place you have to visit when you are in Wanganui is actually about 10 drive out of the city on Rapanui Road but it is well worth the drive. You have to go out to the Bason Botanic Gardens. Not making the effort is not an option. You can turn right at the big green sign opposite the petrol station if you are heading into Wanganui from the north and continue on until you see the entrance, otherwise head north out of Wanganui and you will see the turnoff very soon after you enter the 100kph zone. http://www.basonbotanicgardens.org.nz/
The gardens are huge. There are indoor gardens with flowers and plants for everyone to admire, outdoor gardens with an amazing collection of plants and plenty of space for the kids to run round. Dogs are not allowed but that doesn't mean you won't see people there with them. There are toilets at the top and down at the bottom of the gardens, ducks, sculptures, a frisbee throwing area and several geocaches to be found, including a tricky one that has been a DNF for us so far. There are also bbqs you can use and picnic areas.
The best part is that the gardens are free to enjoy. And being so spread out means you can let the kids run wild on the grass and they won't disturb anyone else. There really is that much space for them to play. So grab a picnic, a sunhat and your camera and be prepared to spend several hours out there exploring. The website will fill you in on all the details of what you can expect to see.
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