Kowhai Park is a children’s park and part of a long reserve area on the southeastern side of the Whanganui River. Access is from the Dublin Street Bridge and there is an extensive children’s playground with a wide range of play apparatus with a nod to popular nursery rhymes.
There is a road and walking/cycling tracks in the reserve to the south which takes you through connecting James McGregor Memorial Park. This section is essentially an arboretum, with a large number of mature and mostly exotic trees, separated by grass. You can settle down pretty much anywhere for a picnic, including beside the river in some places.