Top things to do in Martinborough

There's plenty to see and do in this compact wine-making village that's full of delicious eateries, beautiful vistas and friendly hospitality

Mesita Wine Bar

14c Ohio Street, Martinborough, Wairarapa

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Tucked away in a secluded corner of Martinborough’s town square, Mesita takes their name from Spanish to mean ‘little table’ and is where you will find diners enjoying wine with friends on small tables.

Pouring local Martinborough wines, as well as some international drops, the food menu takes its inspiration from Latin America. It’s a relaxed spot and the perfect place to finish off a day of exploring Martinborough.

Circus Cinema, Restaurant & Bar

34 Jellicoe Street, Martinborough, Wairarapa

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Go for dinner and a movie all in one location at Circus Cinema, a boutique cinema in Martinborough’s town square. With a menu of delicious meals made using seasonal ingredients, depending on the season you can enjoy inside by the fire or out in the courtyard. Take a glass of local wine or beer into the cinema with you, while you sit back and watch an art house or blockbuster movie.

Unmissable Martinborough events

Martinborough, Wairarapa

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New Zealand’s premier wine, food and music festival, Toast Martinborough, is an annual event that celebrates summer in the vines. Set within several stunning Martinborough wineries, this one-day festival showcases the world-class wine from the region, paired with gourmet cuisine by top Wairarapa and Wellington producers, against a backdrop of live music and entertainment.

Held at the beginning of spring the Martinborough Jazz Festival features a run of different free and ticketed gigs held at many of Martinborough’s fantastic local cafés, bars, and other venues. 

Café Medici

9 Kitchener Street, Martinborough , Wairarapa

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A Martinborough institution, this café is full to the brim for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with locals and visitors alike getting their fix of good kai and great coffee from Wellington roastery Peoples Coffee.  For their food menu, Café Medici takes its inspiration from around the globe but when it comes to drinks, they keep it local with Martinborough wine and beer.

The café has twice won Best Burger at Visa Wellington On a Plate’s hotly contested competition – which you can try for yourself at their regular Burger Night every Thursday.

Martinborough Wine Walks

6 Kitchener Street, Martinborough

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Discover Martinborough and its beautiful vineyards by foot with Martinborough Wine Walks.

Hosted by a passionate and knowledgeable local guide, this walking tour takes you off the beaten track and behind the scenes of Martinborough’s specialist winemakers and beverage producers. Get to know the makers behind the drops you sample along the way and learn more about one of Aotearoa’s best wine-making regions.

Group sizes are kept small to ensure a personal experience, and there are a range of tour options to choose from, as well as private tours.

Tora Coastal Walk

298 Tora Road, Tora, Wairarapa

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A three-day walking tour through South Wairarapa’s stunning scenery, this family-owned and run experience will take you through diverse landscapes, expansive farmlands, river valleys and the rugged Tora coastline. Accommodation, food and your itinerary are all taken care of, so all you need to do is concentrate on walking and taking in the incredible views. They’ll even transport your luggage, so you don’t have to carry it. Better still, they’ll even transport your wine, and pop it in the fridge for you, so it’s chilled when you arrive at your next stop.

A quirky fishing village

Rugged and isolated Ngawi is a quirky fishing village on Cape Palliser Road. With more bulldozers per head of population than anywhere else in the world, watch as these trusty old machines haul fishing boats in and out of the wild waves of the Cook Strait.

Each summer, Ngawi hosts the "Big g" fishing competition, where locals and visitors compete for the best snapper, kahawai and kingfish catches. Ngawi is also home to the southernmost golf course in the North Island; nine holes of square greens mown into beach-side grass – a unique golfing experience.

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Martinborough Sweet Shop

8 Kitchener Street, Martinborough, Wairarapa

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Calling all sweet tooths – this one is for you. Experience an indulgence overload with a chocolate tasting in the Martinborough Sweet Shop’s purpose-designed tasting room, open every weekend. 

Chocolate not your thing? This confectionary boutique has every sweet tooth covered with bon-bons, mega sours, giant gobstoppers, the list goes on. The shop sources their products locally and all the way from the UK, ensuring everyone’s favourite sweet is catered to.

Olive oil tasting at Olivo

136 Hinakura Road, Ponatahi, Wairarapa

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Spend an afternoon strolling among olive trees and tasting internationally renowned olive oils at Olivo in Martinborough. This family-run business is Wairarapa’s oldest commercial olive grove, and Helen Meehan loves teaching visitors more about olive oil and how it’s made.

On a Tree to Table tour, you’ll learn about the different olive varieties that Olivo grows and do a tutored olive oil tasting where you’ll learn how to taste extra virgin olive oil like a pro. Tours run for one hour and bookings are essential.

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