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Foxton

(4.5/5 based on 90+ reviews for 3 attractions)
Things to do: beaches, historic sites, museums
Foxton is a town in the Manawatu-Wanganui region of New Zealand. It is located on the lower west coast of the North Island, in the Horowhenua district, 30km southwest of Palmerston North and 15km north of Levin. The town is located close to the banks of the Manawatu River. The small coastal settlement of Foxton Beach is located 6km to the west, close to the river mouth.The 2006 census population was 2715.Foxton was named after Sir William Fox, and has a history of flax stripping, which was used to make wool packs, matting, and rope. Other industries associated with the town have included clothing manufacture and sawmilling.ClimateThe area is sand country with a temperate climate, average monthly temperatures ranging from 8°C to 17.4°C, with a minimum/maximum of -4°C to 27°C. Foxton has an average of about 2,000 sunshine hours a year, and average precipitation of about 900 mm annually. The prevailing winds in the area are west-northwest and have driven the sand back from the coast to create the most extensive transgressive sand dune system in New Zealand.HistoryThe first inhabitants of the Manawatu area were Māori who probably arrived in the thirteenth or fourteenth century. Compared to other parts of the North Island the district was sparsely populated, but there was a major marae at Matakarapa, across the river from Te Awahou (now Foxton) as well as kāinga (villages) and pā (fortified villages) along much of the river. A number of tribes have occupied the area; the Rangitāne had replaced the Ngāti Ara and the Ngāti Mamoe by the 1800s and were in their turn invaded by the Ngāti Toa and allies so that in the 1840s the site of Te Awahou (which was to become Foxton) was occupied by the Ngāti Ngarongo and Ngati Takihiku under the leadership of Ihakara Tukumaru.
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