Discover rural New Zealand at its very best. Wairarapa is off the beaten track but only a short distance from New Zealand's capital city. Over the hill and a world away.
Breathe in the history of New Zealand's first inland town with its main street of original Victorian buildings intact. Enjoy a hearty Sunday roast at the country's oldest pub or ponder what life was like for early settlers over a lingering latte. Poke around intriguing boutique museums or explore cultural and environmental aspects of life past and present at Aratoi, the Wairarapa museum of art and history.
Experience the sights and sounds of small town agricultural shows or enjoy the buzz and hum of the unique international shearing competition. Or find a warm welcome at a home-stay, farm-stay or boutique hotel or hide away at a coastal retreat.
Spend a sophisticated day with a lazy vineyard brunch, maybe a little boutique shopping, or visit an art gallery or spend an afternoon on the golf course. Add a gourmet dinner and impressive locally produced wine list, luxury hotel or rustic retreat and you've got a day and a night to remember!
See the endangered kiwi bird in its natural habitat at Mount Bruce National Wildlife Center. Or find your own wild New Zealand in one of Wairarapa's three rugged forest parks.
Explore easily accessible mountain, bush, lake or coastal sights on foot, on horse-back, by car, mountain bike or even helicopter. Or take a tranquil hot-air balloon flight in the early light of a sleepy Wairarapa valley morning.
Take a fresh look at life in springtime Wairarapa. Breathe clean mountain air, stroll quiet country lanes, lean against a fence post and let the sight of new-born lambs restore your spirit. Wrap your hands around a steaming coffee, taste the sea-salt and feel the wildly beautiful coastline awaken your senses. Stop, look and listen to indigenous bird life while the afternoon sun dapples through native forest and the river babbles a promise of freshly caught trout for supper.
Discover the thrill of deep sea sport fishing or hunt out a bargain at quirky speciality shops and artisans outlets.
Accompany a relaxed round of golf with breathtaking views or share a lazy vineyard lunch with someone special.
Remember those long hot summer days of childhood when you ran bare-foot on a soft sandy beach, clambering over rock pools or spent a lazy day cycling country lanes and splashed in a crystal rivers?
Kick back and relax in tiny coastal settlements. Take a sunset stroll along the board walk, watch fishermen bring in the day's catch or enjoy a beer and a salty tale with locals in an historic seaside pub. Pick up some tips for your own sea-borne adventure or enjoy the bustle of the shoreline weigh-in at one of the summer fishing competitions. Catch some big surf yourself or watch the native fur seals loll in the sun!
Vibrant autumn is a busy season in rural Wairarapa. Find time to reflect on life a little, enjoy the fruits of a long hot summer as well as the color and activity of farming life.
See vineyards heavy with grapes, clothed in reds and gold brilliant against bright blue skies. Enjoy a lazy winery lunch with mountain views… revel in your own inactivity or enjoy poetry or Shakespeare amongst the vines... walk or mountain bike around estates.
Hear the dry earth sigh with relief as the first showers bring a fresh flush of green. Take a magical hot-air balloon flight along the Wairarapa valley and enjoy the pastoral landscapes.
Smell the salt air and watch waves pound and relax at the southernmost point of New Zealand's North Island, Cape Palliser. Take a bracing hill-top walk at the coastal village of Castlepoint, see the historic annual horse-races along the beach and the fishing boats battle in through the reef. Stop for a fish and chip supper and a pint with the locals.
Feel the rhythm of the ancient rainforest alive with autumn activity. Learn about the lifestyle and regeneration programmes of endangered species such as the kiwi bird and tuatara lizard at the Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre. Experience the intriguing natural phenomenon of the Putangirua Pinnacles - imagine you're in Middle-earth!
Touch a time gone by in Greytown, New Zealand's first inland town with its complete main street of original wooden Victorian buildings. Explore cultural and environmental aspects of life past and present at Aratoi, the Wairarapa museum of art and history.
Taste the very best New Zealand has to offer. Autumn is absolutely the best time to picnic! Enjoy your feast beneath a tree at the The Cider House, watch as a harvest is gathered in and enjoy a cold glass of apple cider.
Head back to your cosy cottage retreat, fire-up the log burner and settle in!
While away winter afternoons in Wairarapa. Spend a day visiting one of Wairarapa's rugged untamed coastlines for a real "wind in your hair" experience. Stay the night in a beachfront cabin or secluded cottage. Meander the cafes, art galleries and antique shops of Greytown - New Zealand's first inland town with the most complete main street of original wooden buildings. Greytown maintains it's Victorian village character and features a 'living' early settlers museum. Charming Bed &Breakfasts and quality restaurants make this an excellent staging post.
Visit Carterton's Paua Shell factory and Shop and see how this national icon is transformed into jewellery and gifts. Take back country roads through Gladstone village for a closer look at rural New Zealand. Stop at the Gladstone pub for a hearty lunch or dinner. Spend an afternoon at Aratoi, the distinctive Wairarapa museum of art and history located in Masterton. Indulge in a hot air balloon ride overlooking the magnificent snow capped Tararua Mountains before enjoying a champagne breakfast by a warm fire. Follow the wine trail in Martinborough and conclude your vineyard experience at the Martinborough Wine Centre for a comparative tasting.
Find cosy cottages on farms, at the beach or tucked into the corner of a vineyard, enjoy a luxurious soak in a claw foot bath while sipping a glass of pinot noir, throw another log on the fire and let that red warm just a little as you settle down for the evening.
Book Your Trip Today... Here's How
Learn about the different regions of New Zealand from the options above, then to check for airfares, contact the Air New Zealand Reservations team 1-800-247-KIWI(5494) book online, or call your local travel agent.