Levin Tourist Attractions
Levin (pop. 19,000), the commercial center of a farming region in the western foreland of the Tararua Range, lies 93km northeast of Wellington, to which it supplies vegetables, milk and meat.The town was founded in 1889 as a camp for railroad workers and was named after a director of the railroad company.
There are a variety of natural attractions in the areas surrounding Levin.
To the west of Levin is Lake Horowhenua, a popular recreation area. The Maoris constructed artificial islands in the lake on which they built fortified villages (pas).The area round Lake Papaitonga, to the south, was the scene of bloody battles between supporters of the Maori leader Te Rauparaha and the local tribes.
8km northwest of Levin is Waitarere Beach. Offshore can be seen the wreck of HMS Hyderabad, which ran aground here in 1878.
There are beautiful stretches of beach at Hokio, to the south, and at the mouth of the Manawatu River, to the north. Efforts are being made to consolidate the dunes by planting trees, in order to prevent the sand from being blown on to the fertile fields inland.
20km north of Levin is Foxton (pop. 2700), a much older European settlement. Founded in 1855, it later was given its present name in honor of Sir William Fox, several times prime minister of New Zealand. Most of the trade in the trading post at the mouth of the river was in flax and timber. When the railroad was built a long way from Foxton, however, the town's development came to a standstill.There are a number of historic buildings in Foxton's main street.
The old courthouse is now a museum of local history.
Foxton Beach is a pretty little settlement with many holiday and retirement homes.