Over the hill and a world away
Wairarapa is the perfect rural retreat in the very heart of New Zealand. Located in the south east of the North Island, Wairarapa is just an hour away from the vibrant capital city, Wellington. You can make an easy day trip from the capital to see working farms, country gardens, and wild coastline complete with seal colonies. Or stay overnight in one of the region’s many farm stays, bed and breakfasts, country cottages or exclusive lodges.
Off the beaten track you’ll be awed by the region’s unique natural heritage. The rugged Tararua Mountains to the west and the wild Pacific Ocean to the east create a sense of isolation and wonder. The untamed coastline from Palliser Bay in the south to Akitio in the north is raw in energy and rich in Maori mythology. Learn about nature at Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre – New Zealand’s showcase for the captive breeding of threatened species. For a more active appreciation of the outdoors, the full range of classic kiwi adventures are on offer from jet boating to hot air ballooning, from superb fishing to surfing.
Country culture abounds. The intense competition of Golden Shears brings the world’s best sheep shearers to Masterton every year. Carterton is renowned as New Zealand’s Daffodil Capital and you can view live paua at the local paua shell factory. Historic Greytown has the country’s most complete main street of original wooden Victorian architecture and is a popular place to stop for coffee or shop for antiques.
Wairarapa is a superb place to experience rural New Zealand. Rich in Maori and European heritage, this is a living land with wild, untamed coastlines; while long hot summers and stony ground give birth to world-famous
Wairarapa has always lived off the land and today the region’s wine and food make it a treasure trove for gourmets. Diners can sample anything from venison to mushrooms, berry fruit to crayfish, eels to olives. Discover the wine the world raves over in Martinborough Wine Village, famed for its international award-winning Pinot Noir.The wine trail continues north from Martinborough to the emerging wine regions of Gladstone and Masterton, where Wairarapa’s first vines were planted in 1883. Most wineries are open through summer and a number are open all year.
Celebrate at one of Wairarapa’s quality events. Toast Martinborough, New Zealand’s most exclusive wine, food and music event, takes place amongst the vineyards of Martinborough.
Average Annual Sunshine over 2000 hours yearly
Average annual rainfall 977 – 1091mm (38-43 inches) yearly
Average summer: 22.6 Celsius (73 Fahrenheit)
Average Winter: 11.3 Celsius (52 Fahrenheit)
Wairarapa specializes in outdoor adventure activities, whether you are seeking a soft adventure, a challenge or something for the ‘not so faint hearted’ our leading professional adventure and activity specialists will give you the ultimate Wairarapa experience and you don’t need to be an expert to enjoy it, in fact you don’t need any experience in any of the activities you undertake. Our specialists can provide combinations of activities from outdoor experiences to total adventure packages or create your own personal adventure.
For total thrills, excitement and adventure try some of these: eco tours, mountain biking, sky diving, canoeing / kayaking, tramping, rafting, abseiling, caving, bridge swinging, ballooning, quad biking, jet boating, fishing, hunting, walks, surfing, scuba diving, clay bird shooting, horse trekking, gliding, flying, golf, wine trails, guided farm tours, and much more.
Fishing and Diving
Go whitebaiting, dive for paua and crayfish, surfcast on the beaches or arrange a charter fishing trip at Ngawi and Castlepoint. Uncrowded rivers offer excellent trout fishing.
Three forest parks and many areas of bush reserve on private property.
Power out for a bike adventure on one of Wairarapa’s awesome trails – from bush tracks to coastal splendour.
Ocean swells that have caused ships to founder on Wairarapa’s coast make for some of the best and least crowded surfing in New Zealand.