Top things to do in Wairarapa

Famous for their stunning coastlines, spectacular landscapes, and award winning wine check out some of Wairarapa's must do experiences.

1. Admire the ocean view from Cape Palliser lighthouse

For those after a scenic adventure, Cape Palliser is only one hour from MartinboroughWalk through the forest to the Putangirua Pinnacles Scenic Reserve to some of the country's most unique rock formations. Climb the Cape Palliser Lighthouse and take in the views from the most southern point of the North Island.  If you’re lucky, you may even spot a fur seal!

2. Visit Greytown

Greytown is home to excellent examples of Victorian colonial architecture that line the main street - in fact, it's New Zealand's most complete street of wooden Victorian buildings. You'll find a wide choice of cafés and restaurants serving seasonal menus and local wines, as well as designer boutiques and quirky local stores that stock everything from hand-made lead soldiers, handbags, jewellery, antiques and art.

3. Discover great places for walking and hiking

There is a range of great walking and hiking to discover in the Wairarapa region. From the 3-4 hour Pinnacles Track walk where you will discover filming locations from the Lord of the Rings Trilogy to a historic and scenic one hour coastal walk which visits Castlepoint Scenic Reserve, there is something for everyone. 

4. Spend the day vineyard hopping

Martinborough features over 30 wineries and is home to some of New Zealand’s best pinot noir. Visit Martinborough Wine Merchants, where you can taste the region’s best wine under one roof. With a wine map in hand, enjoy a self-guided walk or cycle around the town’s family-owned vineyards and discover why the pinot noir is so famous here. Short on time? Relax with a guided wine tour and experience a diverse representation of the region’s vineyards.

5. Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre

Take the family to the Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre just a 20-minute drive north of Masterton. Pūkaha is home to some of New Zealand’s most endangered wildlife including tuatara, eels, kākā, kōkako, and kākāriki. You can also join in on the educational talks that take place throughout the day and enjoy lunch at the Kākā Cafe.

6. Explore Castlepoint Beach

Holidays at the wild beach of Castlepoint are part of Wairarapa's local culture. Climb 162 metres to the top of magnificent Castle Rock, walk to Castlepoint Lighthouse, one of the last manned lighthouses to be built in New Zealand. The waters off the beach are often visited by New Zealand fur seals and several species of dolphin. Occasionally small whales can even be seen. Castlepoint is great for swimming, fishing, walks and family fun.

7. Family fun in Masterton

Masterton is the largest of the five townships that make up Wairarapa and is a vibrant, family-friendly town and home to Queen Elizabeth Park. Perfect for the whole family, the park 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.

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