Wairarapa Wine Region, New Zealand

The Wairarapa region is located on the North Island, to the east of Wellington and south-east of Hawkes Bay.  It is a lightly populated area and was named after its largest lake, Lake Wairarapa.  The area is comprised of several small towns, of which, Masterton is the largest.

Local Wairarapa wine and vineyards

The area is famous for producing some of the finest local wines including Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Syrah and Pinot Noir.  Martinborough is easily considered the centre of the local wine industry with many more vineyards and wineries in other areas such as Carterton.  What better souvenir or gift to take home that a special bottle of wine?

Whether you are planning on visiting this wonderful rural region or find yourself passing though, make sure that you plan a stop and get a taste of the local flavours.  If you are in Wellington, a drive to the Wairarapa region will only take about an hour. 

Other fine Wairarapa attractions

One of the top local recreational areas in Wairarapa is the Waiohine Gorge.  With camping facilities and beautiful scenery, this is the perfect getaway.  A swing bridge allows visitors to access and enter the nearby forest and there are various walking trails in the area too.  One of the most popular of these trails leads to Cone Hut which was built back in 1946 and renovated in 1987.  You can also walk to Totara Flats which is notably the largest flat area in the entire Tararua Forest Park.  Locals often visit this area and enjoy a picnic and a splash around in one of the Waiohine swimming holes.

The Mount Bruce Wildlife Centre is another popular stop for locals and tourists.  Their main objective is to aid in the restoration of the native wildlife in the area.  There are various facilities including a café, aviaries, guided visits and feeding demonstrations.  This is one of the ideal places to visit if you wish to get a good look at the otherwise shy and fascinating Kiwi bird.

Additional local activities include cycling through the vineyards, Quad Bike adventures, horse treks and scenic flights.  No matter your preference, there are many ways to explore and enjoy this fantastic part of New Zealand.  If the locals from Wellington favour this area for weekend getaways, it stands to reason that it is well-worth the trip for both international and local tourists!  An important recommendation is to ensure that you make use of your own vehicle or a rental to get around.  The area is large and it is easier and faster to travel according to your on schedule.