The Wairarapa region is about 90 minutes drive north of Wellington and is bordered by the rugged Tararua Ranges to the west and the wild Pacific Ocean to the east. The Wairarapa region is known for its long hot summers and is renowned for being a relaxing place to unwind away from the pressures of urban living.
Martinborough wine village is famed for its award-winning pinot noir, you'll discover a myriad of welcoming vineyards continuing through to Gladstone and Masterton.
New Zealand's first inland town, historic Greytown has retained its delightful colonial village character with careful preservation of the many Victorian buildings. Take a walk and peruse the many specialty shops, where you can purchase antiques, crafts, gifts and artworks. Enjoy a coffee or a meal at one of Greytown's excellent cafes or restaurants and immerse yourself in a charming bygone era.
The Wairarapa is not all about taking it easy. There are numerous adventure activities found in this vibrant region - from rafting, caving and rap jumping to 4WD safaris and bungy jumping just to name a few.
If you want to get up close to some of New Zealand's rarest inhabitants, head for the Mount Bruce National Wildlife centre. The centre is situated amongst ancient rainforest, where the New Zealand Department of Conservation runs its captive breeding program for threatened bird species. Visitors can take a walk with a professional conservation officer through natural bush aviaries.
The gateway to the Wairarapa from Wellington features three unique museums. The Fell Engine Museum houses the only remaining fell locomotive engine in the world and the Featherston Heritage Museum and Mainly Military Museum contain impressive displays of wartime memorabilia.
The wine town of Martinborough is best enjoyed on foot. This pretty town is filled with trendy cafes, restaurants and boutique shops, and is surrounded by New Zealand's premium pinot noir district. The area also produces some fine cabernet sauvignon, sauvignon blanc and riesling.
There are 30 boutique vineyards, mostly within walking distance of the town square. If you don't have enough time to make it to all of your favourite vineyards, there is a wine tasting centre with a great range of local wines to try.