Palmerston North (Māori: Te Papaioea) is the main city of the Manawatu-Wanganui region of the North Island of New Zealand. It is an inland city with a population of 82,400 (June 2011 estimate) and is the country's seventh largest city and eighth largest urban area. Palmerston North is located in the eastern Manawatu Plains near the north bank of the Manawatu River.
The city covers an area of 325.94 square kilometres (126 sq mi) and one million people live within a two-hour drive (200 km/120 mile radius). It is about 140 km (87 mi) north of the capital, Wellington. The city is 35 km (22 mi) from the river's mouth and 12 km (7 mi) from the end of the Manawatu Gorge. The official limits of the city take in rural areas to the south and north-east of the main urban area, extending to the Tararua Ranges and including the town of Ashhurst at the mouth of the Manawatu Gorge. This is a rich and fertile agricultural area.