Explore Victoria Esplanade Day is an opportunity for New Zealand visitors to get away with family this summer in a fun-packed event. Tourists will delight in the 26 hectares of natural beauty and outstanding facilities while being entertained, amazed, and enchanted.

The 2020 event returns to Palmerston North on Sunday, 16th February with bigger and better line-up of children’s shows. There will be dance performances, live music, roving performers, workshops, food and craft stalls and plenty more.

Snapshot of Esplanade Playground (Photo: @Trains.NZ Facebookpost)

Explore Esplanade Day was named to commemorate Queen Victoria’s 60th Jubilee. It is Palmy’s premier family event in the City’s pride and joy – Victoria Esplanade. Therefore, bring the family, your hats and sunscreen and connect with your community.

Victoria Esplanade’s Rose Garden. A beautiful spot for an afternoon stroll or a garden wedding. (Photo: PNCC)

The Esplanade provides you the opportunity to journey through a landscape with playgrounds, paddling pool and miniature railway. You will also find beautiful gardens, magnificent trees, bush walks, bike tracks, beautiful roses, barbecues, and croquet lawns. It is a free family entertainment for all ages with junior road safety Park for kids.

Miniature rail transport at the Esplanade (Photo: @Trains.NZ Facebookpost)

Some Sites in the Esplanade

Attractions in the Esplanade include Central Energy Trust Wild-base Recovery, which provides shelter and world-class care for native wildlife. The much-admired Dugald MacKenzie Rose Garden was opened in 1968 and boasts of more than 5,000 roses in named beds. Peter Black Conservatory, originally constructed in 1941 is home to a range of tropical plants from Africa, the Americas and Oceania. The conservatory provides a wonderful botanic experience for young and old.

Interior view of the Central Energy Trust Wild-base Recovery (Photo: @Trains.NZ Facebookpost)
The Peter Black Conservatory is home to plants from throughout the tropics and lots of frogs. (Photo: PNCC)

With 11ha of native bush and exotic arboretum the Victoria Esplanade offers a relaxing gentle walk in interesting surroundings. There are a little over 3.5km of walkways to explore with a fernery, a Forest and Bird Tree Trial and various gardens. Victoria Esplanade’s playground is the region’s largest, set among beautiful mature trees. It has mouse wheels, a junior playground, extensive swings including a basket swing, various fort structures with large slides.

Other Spots

There are two free barbecue areas set up for picnics, one in the playground and one in the central area. With free electric BBQs, picnic tables, and plenty of space, it’s a great place for a family outing. Café Esplanade is in the middle of the Esplanade, available for events and functions. Esplanade Scenic Railway is one of the park’s most popular attractions with stations at the playground.

Junior Road Safety Park in the Esplanade (Photo: PNCC)

Junior Road Safety Park is complete with a miniature roundabout, signs, traffic lights and a station to pump up tyres. The Junior Road Safety Park is the perfect place for kids to ride their bike or scooter. It’s designed to be a family-friendly, fun environment for kids to learn about basic road safety while gaining confidence.


Victoria Esplanade is accessible through Fitzherbert Avenue and Park Road. It is within walking distance from dozens of hotels including conference halls and sports facilities. So, get your bookings and reservations now and prepare for a memorable family fun day out at Palmy City.

Sources: pncc.govt.nz, manawatunz.co.nz, @Trains.NZ

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