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Welcome to Dannevirke - click to enlarge
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What to See

Fantasy Cave

Fantasy Cave - Level 1

A magnificent creation that children and adults alike find absorbing. Tremendous skill has been put into creating nursery rhyme and story book characters that actually move. They must be seen. Fantasy Cave is open the end of November, all December and from then on by appointment for groups.

Wai Splash heated indoor pool, great recreation in summer or winter

Makirikiri Marae - visit the Aotea Meeting House and learn of the areas Maori History from the magnificent carvings.

Gallery of History - situated 14 Gordon Street, Dannevirke, in the old courthouse. Open Monday to Friday 10am- 3pm. Weekend or holiday openings are by arrangement. Entry $2 per adult 50 cents for children. Email Tel 06 374 6300. Storehouse of Scandinavian memorabilia, artifacts, photographic records, shipping lists, local fauna. Also specialise in research for families whose ancestors have lived in and around the area.

The Ruahine Ranges are 92000 hectares of a trampers dream. Grand views and well appointed huts for camping.

Manawatu River - your choice - trout fishing, swimming, canoeing, only just out of town.

Golf Club - a picturesque course to provide some relaxation.

There are a variety of art and craft activities to be seen, spinning and weaving, quilt making, painting wood turning plus more.

 

Playground - click to enlarge

European settlement of Dannevirke began on 15 October 1872 with the arrival of 13 Danish and eight Norwegian families brought out under the Vogel Immigration Scheme.

These pioneers were immediately allocated sections and then it was to work, clearing the vast "Seventy Mile Bush", building roads and establishing the railway. In their spare time, which was rare indeed they put their efforts into housing themselves.

With the clearing of bush, timber mills arrived bringing English speaking immigrants with them. As the land was cleared, so farmland was developed and Dannevirke was growing toward becoming an important service centre for the rural community. Farming from the coastal areas was moving to the west while from the Ruahine Ranges was moving east and in due course came together.

Dannevirke's Scandinavian heritage remains today but perhaps to a lesser extent than it deserves. Street names of the era such as Hamlet, Thyra, and Christian Streets are constant reminders. Cemeteries are now of considerable importance historically and the "Settlers Cemetery" attracts many visitors. The local Scandinavian Club is small but active and can often be seen taking visitors from those far away countries around the points reflecting their heritage.

With changes to farming patterns and the economy, Dannevirke has changed too, apart from being a service centre it has now become a popular stopping point for visitors.

Accommodation is available to suit all requirements, camping, backpackers, homestays or motels will all welcome you.

The 20 hectare Domain is a great place to stop off if you are passing through or to visit if stopping over. Enjoy the gardens while the children make good use of the impressive "Viking Ship" playground. The lower section of the Domain is scenic and tranquil, ideal for a picnic before viewing the deerpark and wandering across the bridge at the duck pond. The camping ground is also set in this area.

Information supplied by Maurice Wright

 

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