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Only an hour by car or train from Wellington, Wairarapa is one of New Zealand’s top food and wine destinations. With its country charm and wide open spaces, the Wairarapa region is the perfect complement to your stay in the capital.

Located at the heart of the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail, the Wairarapa encompasses five small characterful towns - Martinborough, Featherston, Greytown, Carterton and Masterton.

With several boutique vineyard areas, the region punches above its weight for fine wines, and artisan food producers offer a range of locally-made treats including gourmet bread, chocolate, cheese and olive oil.

Alongside the cuisine, the region is rich in natural beauty, boasting dramatic mountain ranges, pristine forest parks and a wild stretch of rugged coastline. Here, there are coastal walks, cycling tracks and nature trails to suit everyone from family groups to seasoned adventurers.

Whether your goal is to explore, imbibe, or simply relax, this diverse region offers something to suit all tastes, interests and flavours.

Explore Martinborough wine village

Cycling the vines Martinborough Wairarapa v2

With more than 20 vineyards in walking or cycling distance from Martinborough’s main square, this charming village is the perfect spot for wine lovers. Take a self-guided adventure on foot, book yourself a seat on a coach tour, or hire a bike and scoot past the vineyards with the breeze in your hair.

Head to the coast

CastlePoint Wairarapa

Whether it’s rugged seascapes, quaint fishing villages, natural wonders or Insta-worthy lighthouses on your scenic wish list, the Wairarapa coastline ticks all the boxes. Check out stunning Cape Palliser and the amazing rock formations at the Putangirua Pinnacles, or Castlepoint and Riversdale for a day at the beach.

Meet some unique locals

wairarapa manukura 3000x2056

Pukaha National Wildlife Centre, a 20-minute drive north of Masterton, is home to some very special creatures. Here, you can meet Manukura, the only white kiwi in captivity in the world, get close up with a range of native birds including kokako and whio, and watch eels and tuataras enjoy their daily feeds.

Immerse yourself in nature

Rimutaka cycletrail coast

Whether you prefer to cycle or stroll, there are a huge range of trails to explore in the Wairarapa. Get the family together for a walk in leafy Fensham Reserve, only a few minutes’ drive from Carterton, enjoy the scenic wonders of the Tararua Forest Park, or experience one of the country’s best rides on the Remutaka Cycle Trail.

Visit charming Greytown

Country Village Greytown Wairarapa

Beautifully preserved Victorian buildings, cute colonial-era cottages and fabulous shopping are all part of what makes Greytown so special. Check out the gourmet chocolate studio, designer clothing boutiques and homewares stores, relax and watch the world go by at one of the many cafes, or book yourself a spot on the guided Village Artisan Tour.

Sweet tooth?

Clareville Bakery Carterton Wairarapa

If you’re out and about in the Wairarapa, be sure to stop off at Clareville Bakery. Just outside of Carterton, this award-winning haven of baked treats serves up everything from artisan breads and pies to mouth-watering sweet pastries, and it’s fully licensed.