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Carterton, just over an hour from Wellington, is a hot bed of sculptors, textile artists and painters creating unique works.

Located in the Wairarapa region, Carterton is at the very heart of the Classic NZ Wine Trail.

The township full of character and home to a large artistic community. Its unique attractions include Paua World, an amazing gift shop selling high quality jewellery, giftware and homeware made from the paua shell and Stonehenge Aotearoa, a modern, working interpretation of Stonehenge in England built specifically for its stunning hill-top location, are a big drawcard for visitors.

Carterton is the gateway to the northern Wairarapa town of Gladstone, a top wine producing area.  Artists in particular are drawn to Carterton for its inspiring landscapes, with the Tararua mountain range to the west, dramatic coastlines to the east, and farmland and grapevines in between.

Carterton is also well known for its annual Daffodil Carnival (September) when you can pick armloads of daffodils from a large flower-packed paddock. Every May, Carterton hosts the Oversew Fashion Awards, showcasing fashion design through 'upcycling'. 

It's also famous for having the world's first transsexual Mayor and M, Georgina Beyer. 

Consider these activities while you're in Carterton:

  • Paua World, a terrific paua factory, aquarium and store
  • The Parkvale Mushroom Factory
  • Vineyards at Gladstone
  • Stonehenge Aotearoa
  • Country gardens - like Daysh Country Garden near Clareville and Assisi Gardens high in the Gladstone hills
  • A scenic helicopter flight to see the impressive nearby forest parks from above
  • For an outdoor adventure hike in the Tararua Forest Park and the Waiohine Gorge, which has an brilliant swing bridge.
  • Fish for trout or enjoy a swim in one of the nearby rivers or in the Tararua Forest Park
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