Wairarapa is an hour's drive north of Wellington. Visit the vineyards of Martinborough or Cape Palliser, the southernmost point of the North Island.
Coming from Wellington, you drive over the winding Remutaka Hill road. Halfway down there’s a corner where the whole vista of the Wairarapa opens up before you, bush-clad ranges to the west across flat plains to a rugged coast on the east.
A rural area with an off-the-beaten-track charm, Wairarapa offers travellers a wide range of experiences. Head up to the Waiohine Gorge at the foot of the Tararuas and a swing bridge is your gateway to tramping tracks into the ranges. Head out to Cape Palliser on the coast and you’ll pass through the tiny fishing village of Ngawi where you’ll see a colourful array of old bulldozers and tractors parked on the beach.
The towns have their own individual character and charm. Martinborough is the centre of the local wine industry – take a tour of the vineyards - while Greytown has an architectural charm and is a favourite weekend getaway for Wellingtonians.
Some of The Many Attractions
Take a Guided Wine Tour
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.
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 handmade lead soldiers, handbags, jewellery, antiques and art.
Pukaha National Wildlife Centre
The Pukaha National Wildlife Centre just a 20-minute drive north of Masterton. Pukaha is home to some of New Zealand’s most endangered wildlife including tuatara, eels, kaka, kōkako, kākāriki and white kiwi.
Prizes generously donated by tourism operators from this area that you could win!
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Check out the Tourism New Zealand website for more information about the amazing things to see and do in New Zealand