Whanganui was one of the first cities to be founded in New Zealand. Whanganui, meaning 'big bay' or ‘big harbour', comes from the great river that flows through it. It is picturesque and has much to show off to the visitor. Prominent heritage buildings in the city include the Whanganui Opera House and the Sarjeant Art Gallery. Whanganui is home to New Zealand’s largest arts community with more fine arts, mixed media and glass artists than anywhere else in the country, and boasts the country's only Glass School.