Wairarapa is a region of spectacular coastlines, wide valleys and small towns. It's known for its vineyards, gourmet food, walking and cycling trails - and a vibrant arts scene. All about an hour's drive or train ride from Wellington.
First settled by Maori in the 1300s, the Wairarapa later became a farming area known for its meat and butter. Farming is still important, but so is forestry, fishing and horticulture.
A rural area with an off-the-beaten-track charm, Wairarapa, New Zealand, offers travellers a wide range of experiences. Head up to the Waiohine Gorge at the foot of the Tararuas and a swing bridge is your gateway to tramping tracks into the ranges. Head out to Cape Palliser on the coast and you’ll pass through the tiny fishing village of Ngawi where you’ll see a colourful array of old bulldozers and tractors parked on the beach.
The towns have their own individual character and charm. Martinborough is the centre of the local wine industry – take a tour of the vineyards - while Greytown has an architectural charm and is a favourite weekend getaway for Wellingtonians.