Wairarapa is an hour’s drive north
of Wellington. Visit the vineyards of Martinborough or Cape Palliser, the southernmost
point of the North Island.
Coming from Wellington, you drive over the winding
Rimutaka Hill road. Halfway down there’s a corner where the whole vista of the Wairarapa
opens up before you, bush-clad ranges to the west across flat plains to a rugged coast
on the east.
A rural area with an off-the-beaten-track charm, the Wairarapa
offers the traveller 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
Accommodation ranges from boutique hotels to homestay cottages.
Having a car for transport works best; it’s a big area.