Located on the railway route that connects Wellington and Palmerston North, Levin serves as the seat of New Zealand’s Horowhenua District. It’s named after William Hort Levin, who was the director of the Wellington & Manawatu Railway Company. Today, Levin serves as a shopping and cultural hub for the surrounding rural communities.
Things to do in Levin
In the heart of town is the Levin Adventure Park, where you'll find a volleyball court, a skating area and a fitness trail. Kids can let loose on the ropes course and climbing wall, with a dedicated under five’s play area for young ones to enjoy. Visit on the weekend to ride the colourful miniature train that chugs its way through the park.
On the western edge of Levin is Lake Horowhenua, a shallow water body watched over by Muaupoko Park. It was once surrounded by wildlife-filled wetlands currently being restored by the Muaūpoko and Horowhenua Lake Trust. On the opposite side of the lake from Muaupoko Park is the course of the Levin Golf Club, which offers panoramic views of the Tararua Mountains.
Further south is the Papaitonga Scenic Reserve, which protects a picturesque dune lake and a tract of native podocarp forest preserved by naturalist Walter Buller. It’s now an important sanctuary for a variety of wetland birds, including brown teals, mallards and black swans. Follow the boardwalk trail that offers views across Lake Papaitonga while learning about the endangered land snails that inhabit the reserve’s lowland gullies.
Getting around Levin
Levin is just over an hour’s drive from Wellington and 1.5 hours from Wellington International Airport, which has flights to destinations across Oceania. Trains connect from Wellington and Palmerston North to the Levin railway station and the town is small enough to explore on foot.