Dannevirke is the largest community in the Tararua District and is well serviced with a modern hospital, three secondary schools and a growing commercial sector. The town has it's own community radio station, 107FM, which is a great way to stay informed about local events and news.
Prior to European settlement, Maori people of the Rangitane and Ngati Kahungunu lived in the area along the rivers and streams, fishing and hunting in the bountiful native bush. The Makirikiri Marae and Aotea Meeting House have spectacular carvings illustrating the history of Maori people to the area.
In 1872 settlement began when 13 Danish and 8 Norwegian families arrived on the Hovding and Ballarat ships. An area of high fern, scrub and native bush greeted these travel weary pioneers. Ballots for sections were drawn and Dannevirke began to take shape.
A major fire in 1917 saw much of Dannevirke's shopping area destroyed, but Dannevirke people are made of sturdy stuff and the town was quickly rebuilt. Dannevirke is now a town strong in sport with excellent recreational facilities.
The Gallery of History on Gordon Street is a 'must visit' in Dannevirke and offers a comprehensive display of the town's history.
The Dannevirke domain on Christian Street hosts attractive gardens settled amongst 20 hectares of scenic tranquillity. A children's playground and small paddling pool are some of the facilities available for you to enjoy. If your looking for somewhere to try out your new skateboard or scooter, there is a popular skatepark on Allardice Street.
Stroll around the Rose Garden and at night spot the lighted fountain. In the lower part of the domain nestled within the urban boundaries are the bird aviaries and deer park. Feed the ever-hungry ducks. The Motor Camp is amongst this tranquil scenery. Your visit will not be complete without a visit to Fantasy Cave in the main street of Dannevirke.