Situated on the banks of the Manawatu River nestled at the foot of the impressive Tararua Mountain Range, a growing city of 78,100, Palmerston North is unique. The subdivision of Palmerston North began in 1866, with the most important stimulus to the growth of the town being the development of pastoral farming. As early European settlers cleared the native forest with axe and fire, a new vegetation of grasses and clovers provided the basis for cattle and sheep farming. The city has been able to maintain a complementary relationship between the modern conveniences and technology of big city life, and the quality and ease of small town lifestyle, offering visitors and residents alike 'the best of both worlds'.
By road, Palmerston North is only seven hours drive from Auckland and two hours from the capital, Wellington. The City's central location also places it within easy two hour drives of the North Islands Central Plateau skifields, the beaches and wineries of the Hawkes Bay, Mount Taranaki and historic Maori sites of the Taranaki region, and the rural splendour of the Wairarapa.