In Masterton every March, sheep shearing is hailed as an art form. This town is the main shopping and service centre for the rural Wairarapa region.
Masterton is the largest town in Wairarapa region, and extremely family friendly.
In the centre of town is the beautiful Queen Elizabeth Park, which has one of the best children’s playgrounds in New Zealand as well as a flying fox, paddle boats, bike hire, miniature train, skate park, swing bridge and mini golf course. Just across the road is Aratoi: Wairarapa Museum of Art & History(opens in new window) which holds exhibitions of national significance and explores the region’s history and stories.
The neighbouring Wool Shed (opens in new window)offers visitors a realistic look into New Zealand’s pioneering history by tracing sheep farming and the development of the sport of sheep shearing. It’s not surprising to learn that for three days every March, Masterton hosts the Golden Shears, the world's premier sheep shearing and woolhandling championship.
Aviation enthusiasts can visit one of the largest collections of original and flying WW1 aircraft in the world at the Vintage Aviator Collection at Hood Aerodrome. A tour of the hangar gets people up close to some of the world’s only flying examples of WW1 Fighter Scouts, Bombers and Renaissance Aircraft. Every two years as part of the Wings Over Wairarapa(opens in new window) airshow, these aircraft can be seen high above the stunning landscape doing mock dogfights and tactical displays. Masterton is also a great base to explore nearby Castlepoint, Wairarapa’s most spectacular beach, and Riversdale.