Wairarapa Attractions

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When you visit the Wairarapa region make sure you experience some of these activities.

Wairarapa
Vineyard, Wairarapa

By Marcus Adams

Autumn Vines, Martinborough

Explore the wine village of Martinborough

Packed with colonial charm, Martinborough features over 30 wineries, most within walking distance of the quaint village square which is laid out in a Union Jack pattern. Some of New Zealand's best pinot noir comes from the town's friendly family owned vineyards.

  • Take a walk around the village square and admire many of the town's heritage buildings before exploring the boutique stores, cafes and restaurants where menus make the most of local produce.
  • Visit the Martinborough Wine Centre, where you can taste many wines from the region's wineries under one roof. Wines can also be purchased here, then shipped to your home address.
  • With a wine map in hand, enjoy a self-guided walk or cycle around the town's family owned vineyards and discover why Martinborough is famed for its pinot noir. Don't forget to visit one of the township's award-winning olive groves.
  • Relax with a guided wine tour - such as Tranzit Tours' daily 'Martinborough Gourmet Wine Tour' - which is great for those with limited time in the region wanting to experience a diverse representation of vineyards. Or come in November for Toast Martinborough, a premier wine, food and music festival.
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Wairarapa
The spoils of Schoc Chocolates, Wairarapa

By Destination Wairarapa

Explore the eateries of Greytown, including chocolate boutiques.

Discover the charm of Greytown

Greytown is a Victorian country village with metropolitan style. Established in 1854. it was New Zealand's first planned inland town but in recent years has transformed into a sophisticated village with free Wi-Fi hotspots along its Main Street.

  • Don't forget your credit card. Greytown's eclectic mix of independent boutiques, art galleries, antique stores and cafes make it one of New Zealand's premier shopping destinations.
  • Refuel at chocolate studio, Schoc Chocolate, sample fresh patisseries from The French Baker and enjoy local produce at the many stylish cafes and restaurants.
  • Hire tandem bikes to explore the nearby countryside.
  • Walk the length of New Zealand's most complete main street of wooden Victorian buildings. There are many fine examples of historic architecture.
  • Visit Papawai Marae - the site of the first Maori Parliament, with a wharenui (meeting house) dating back from 1888.
  • Visit the Cobblestones, Wairarapa's Early Settlers Museum, where the town's pioneering history comes to life.
Wairarapa
Manukura the kiwi, Wairarapa

By Mike Heydon/Jet Productions

Pukaha Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre.

See rare wildlife at Pukaha Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre


Pukaha Mount Bruce is where some of New Zealand's endangered species are bred and returned to the wild. It is also home to New Zealand's two rare white kiwi - Manukura and Mauriora - who have become the pin-ups for the ongoing conservation, research and education programme at Pukaha Mount Bruce.

  • See Manukura, one of two rare white kiwi, in her kiwi house.
  • Encounter wild kaka as they swoop out of the forest for their 3pm daily feed.
  • Eels churn the water at their daily 1.30pm feed.
  • View kiwi poking through the leaf-litter in the nocturnal house.
  • Many rare native birds - kokako, stitchbirds, takahe, kakariki and black teal can also be seen in their leafy realm.
  • Kids will also love the audiovisual presentation that runs continuously and the interactive educational displays.
  • Make sure to take one of the many short walks through the forest with giant rimu, rata, kahikatea and tawa.
Wairarapa
Wairarapa stargazing, Wairarapa

By Daniel Rood

Stargazing at Castlepoint in the Wairarapa

A day at Castlepoint Beach

Holidays at the wild beach of Castlepoint are part of Wairarapa's local culture.

  • Climb to the top of magnificent Castle Rock - its 162 metres high.
  • Walk to Castlepoint Lighthouse, one of the last manned lighthouses to be built in New Zealand.
  • The Castlepoint Reserve is home to one of the rarest daisies in the world - Castlepoint Daisy, otherwise known as Brachyglottis compactus.
  • Investigate the fossil-rich limestone reef.
  • The waters off the beach are often visited by New Zealand fur seals and several species of dolphin. Occasionally small whales can be seen.
Wairarapa
Lighthouse at Cape Palliser, Wairarapa

By Tourism Wairarapa

Lighthouse at Cape Palliser

An expedition to Cape Palliser

Cape Palliser is the most southern point of the North Island. Grab your camera, take a picnic and make a day of it.

  • Walk through the forest to the Putangirua Pinnacles Scenic Reserve and see some spooky looking rock formations.
  • Visit the quirky commercial fishing village of Ngawi, where tractors line the beach.
  • Climb 250 steps up to the Cape Palliser Lighthouse, which was built in 1897.
  • On the roadside, see the North Island's largest resident breeding colony of New Zealand fur seals.
  • A rich history of early Maori occupation is still evident in the landscape. Look for terracing and kumara pits.
Wairarapa
Hood Aerodrome, Wairarapa

By The Vintage Aviator

Vintage Aviator WW1 Aircraft on display at Hood Aerodrome

Family fun in Masterton


Masterton, the largest of the five townships that make up Wairarapa, is a vibrant, family friendly town and has long been an important service hub for surrounding farms.

  • Queen Elizabeth Park is home to the fabulous Kids Own Playground, the flying fox, mini golf, the Skate Park and the swing bridge which leads to the Deer Park. It's a great place to enjoy a picnic.
  • Take a trip back in time with The Vintage Aviator Collection (TVAL), located at the historic Hood Aerodrome, and see one of the largest collections of original and flying WW1 aircraft in the world.
  • Drive north through heartland New Zealand and be surprised to see the seven storey Tui brewery tower rise out of nowhere. Visit Tui HQ and enjoy a coffee or a beer tasting.
Wairarapa
Carterton, Wairarapa

By Brenda Anderson

Part of the Wairarapa Valley, near Carterton.

Get crafty in Carterton

Carterton was established in 1857 and is fast becoming recognised as an art hub.

  • Carterton is a hot spot for art and craft lovers. Stoll the High Street with its second hand stores, art galleries and cafes or visit a local artisan working from their home studio.
  • Explore Stonehenge Aotearoa, a modern, working version of England's Stonehenge.
  • Take a short drive north and explore the wine producing areas of Gladstone and Dakins Road.
  • Stroll around historic Carrington House and Gardens, which boasts 12 acres of gardens laid out by the renowned landscape architect Alfred Buxton (open September-April to group bookings only).

Where to next?

Hawke's Bay →

Manawatu →

Wellington →