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The Wairarapa is a region of big skies, wide valleys and characterful small towns. The Wairarapa valley is fringed by mountains to the west and rugged coast to the east.
Wairarapa sits at the heart of the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail offering landscape that is wild and diverse. Martinborough Wine Village is packed with charm and is home to 20, largely family owned, wineries. The unique part is they are mostly all within walking or cycling distance of each other.
Neighbouring Greytown is a country village with metropolitan style, beautifully preserved Victorian wooden buildings house design and gift shops, an artisan French bakery and Schoc Chocolates, a gourmet chocolate studio serving up some sensational flavours including lime chilli and sea salt.
Cape Palliser lighthouse, with its red and white stripes, was named 9th on Lonely Planet’s Top Ten Flashiest Lighthouses list. Then along the wild south eastern Wairarapa coastline lies the North Island’s largest colony of native fur seals - they’re easily viewed from the roadside. The nearby Putangirua Pinnacles with their unique geological rock formations is a great short walk.
Explore Martinborough by bike on a guided tour or a self-guided tour. Green Jersey Cycles offers a range of tours or can help by providing a bike, map and a great wine guidance.
Pukaha Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre is where New Zealand’s most rare and endangered wildlife are conserved, just 20 minutes north of Masterton. Check out the interactive visitor centre, the Kiwi Theatre with great short films, eel feeding, the kaka circus and the star – Manukura the little white kiwi.
Tui Brewery at Mangatainoka has been supplying New Zealand with their favourite drop since 1889. The beer, the tower and the brewery are New Zealand icons. Enjoy a beer tasting, some tasty kiwi tucker from the Tui HQ Café, a tour or a free look around the museum and shop.
Kahikatea Gardens in Greytown are full of rhododendrons, camellias, flowering trees and shrubs, and ancient totara and titoki trees. There's also plenty of friendly animals such as sheep and goats, and the donkeys Jordan and Petra love a pat and a cuddle.
Discover the history of wool and its importance to New Zealand at this hands-on heritage museum in Masterton known as The Woolshed. See spinning and weaving demonstrations, hear stories of our sheep stations, and learn how shearing became an international sporting competition.