Wairarapa is well known for it’s vineyards and you can ‘cycle the vines’ in Martinborough or Opaki.
Cape Palliser, on the Wairarapa coast, is the southernmost point of the North Island.Fishing is good all year round off the coast and the Ruamahanga River is one of the countries best rivers to catch a trout.
Wairarapa offers a good range and blend of tours including walking trails, horse trekking, quad bike tours, hunting trips and helicopter scenic flights.
You will find some great cycle trails in the region including the spectacular Rimutaka Cycle Trail (part of the Great New Zealand Cycle Trail network).
Discover . . .
You can explore the local vineyards on bike with the aid of a wine map or join a professionally operated wine tour with a local guide. Martinborough contains over 30 wineries and most of these are within walking distance of the town. Some of New Zealand’s best Pinot Noir wines is produced in this area.
It is worth visiting the Martinborough Wine Centre, where you can sample local wines and purchase these, all under one roof. Also, remember to visit one of the local award-winning olive groves.
Wildlife and nature encounters:
At Pukaha Mount Bruce you will find some of New Zealand’s most endangered species. Here they are bred and returned to the wild. It is also home to two extremely rare and famous white kiwi – Manukura and Mauriora. Make sure you are there at 3 pm when wild Kaka descend from the surrounding forest for their daily feed.
You will also encounter many rare native birds as you walk through the forest which is home to majestic Rimu, Tawa and rata trees.
Visit Cape Palliser:
Cape Palliser is the most southern point of the North Island. You can climb 250 steps to reach the Cape Palliser Lighthouse, which was built in 1897. A real bonus of visiting this area is that on the roadside at Cape Palliser you will encounter the North Island’s largest resident breeding colony of New Zealand fur seals.
Just down the road from Cape Palliser you will find the Putangirua Pinnacles – featuring some of the most striking rock formations you are likely to see.
WWI fighter aircraft:
The Vintage Aviator (located at Masterton Airport) boasts the largest collection of airworthy WWI fighter aircraft in the world. Guided tours of this amazing attraction are available and well recommended.
Wairarapa offers a good variety of walking trails. There are family, town, mountain and coastal walks. Catered and guided walks are increasingly popular with these providing private and exclusive access to places not accessible to the general public. Some recommended walking trails are:
Tararua Forest Park which covers over 116,000 hectares of wilderness and is the largest conservation park managed by the Department of Conservation in the North Island. The walking trails are well maintained and extensive.
Orui Walk – a 3 night walking experience over private farmland and Wairarapa coastline.
Waiohine Gorge – this can be a one day or multi day walk. This is a fabulous place for a family-friendly camping and walking experience and features an excellent swimming hole. The suspension bridge over the Waiohine River forms a spectacular gateway to the Tararua Forest Park.
From cycling around vineyards to traversing a mountain range, you will find a fun cycle trail to suit. Trails and bike parks are located throughout Wairarapa. Some recommended cycle trails are:
Rimutaka Cycle Trail (part of the Great New Zealand Cycle Trail network) – extending from Wellington to the Wairarapa, you will see urban and rural landscapes and experience the history of the Rimutaka Rail Trail and the Wairarapa south coast.
Wairarapa Valley Cycleway – runs from Masterton through Gladstone and out to Martinborough before heading to Featherston. This 67km touring route takes around 4-6 hours.
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