After spending most of my 3 years in New Zealand at Palmerston North, I made a few observations, supported by facts and evidence. This city is not too bad to live in, except that it is a tad bit too small and boring.
Here are the 10 fun facts:
10) There is a Sakura Festival held in International Pacific College campus annually, usually on the third Saturday in September (spring starts in September). It is a celebration of colors and cultures – many Japanese students wear their Kimono, and traditional Asian performances.
9) Palmerston North is known as 'Student City' because over half of the city's population is under age 33. A large portion is made up of students at Massey University, Universal College of Learning and International Pacific College.
8) Locals and students call Palmerston North as Palmy. The name is too much of a mouthful and Palmy probably sounds a little more affectionate. After we find it boring and all sometimes, we all miss it after we leave.
7) The city layout looks pretty much like a grid, with a square in the center. And it is appropriately named The Square, a 7-ha park with I-Site and town name surrounded by lawn, gardens, trees and fountains.
6) The main shopping center in Palmerston North is called The Plaza. There is only 1 cinema (several theaters, of course) in this city. Thankfully, there are some good shops around for general shopping.
5) There are only 12 bus routes in Palmerston North. The frequency is about once every 30-60 minutes. Six of these buses lead to Massey University via different routes. The good news – students ride for free.
4) There is a hill of refuse at local landfill named 'Mt Cleese'. John Cleese had described Palmerston North as 'the victim capital of New Zealand' and said "if you wish to kill yourself but lack the courage to, I think a visit to Palmerston North will do the trick."
3) Palmerston North International Airport has no international flights. Previously, Freedom Air used to fly between Palmy and Australian cities in the west coast, but they stopped after March 2008.
2) There is a Palmerston town in South Island. Here, this town is called Palmerston North. It is named in honor of Viscount Palmerston, a former Prime Minister of Great Britain.
1) It may not be the most strategic spot in New Zealand, but Palmerston North location is not too bad. It is 2.5 hours north of Wellington, 8 hours south of Auckland, 30 minutes east of west coast and 45 minutes west of Ruahine and Tararua Ranges (and big wind farm in southern hemisphere).
This is a place where traveller will tend to skip or miss since it is not located along the main state highways. In fact, most people will not know where it is unless you are a local or been there at some point.
If you are going to attend any of the tertiary institutions in Palmerston North, you will have a relaxing school life there. The pace in school is much slower, and there is always time for everything.