Wellington - Wellington

Fly total time: 5 days

Wairarapa is a region of big skies, wide valleys and small characterful towns.  Just an hour’s drive or train ride from Wellington it is a popular escape destination, renowned for its premium wines, gourmet food and boutique accommodation. As one of New Zealand’s premium wine regions Wairarapa produces Pinot Noir and is home to Martinborough wine village.  The region is at the heart of the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail.

To ensure your clients are well rested after their flight, we recommend they stay a night or two in their arrival city before collecting a rental vehicle. Driving in a new country can be challenging and will be even worse if the driver is tired. The driver should always be well rested, take regular breaks during the journey and plan to drive for only 1-2 hours at a time.

New Zealand has unique road rules and driving conditions that your clients may not be used to. For a safe and enjoyable journey make sure your clients know where to find information on New Zealand’s road rules before they depart for their holiday.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Day 1: Wellington - Greytown

    Drive Fly 1 hour 75 KMS 46 MI

    Enjoy a leisurely morning in Wellington, in the afternoon collect a rental vehicle and self-drive from Wellington to Greytown via Featherston, approximately 1 hour.

    Alternatively your clients may wish to take the train from Wellington city to Greytown, Carterton or Masterton. A local bus service operates between Featherston and Martinborough.

    There are a wide range of accommodation options in Wairarapa. Your clients may wish to base themselves in one town for the duration of their stay; Greytown, Martinborough and Masterton are good options.

    Many describe historic Greytown as the prettiest town in the North Island, known for its carefully restored Victorian buildings, designer boutiques, and quirky local stores.

    Recommended activities:

    • Your clients may wish to stop in Featherston en route to Greytown. Explore the town and visit the Fell Locomotive Museum


    • Stroll along the main street and browse the designer boutiques, sample delicious chocolates at the local chocolatier, and relax at one of the bustling cafés and restaurants
  • Day 2: Greytown - Martinborough - Greytown

    Drive Fly 34 minutes 18 KMS 11 MI

    In the morning self-drive from Greytown to Martinborough, approximately 15 minutes.

    Spend the day exploring local vineyards all within walking distance of Martinborough’s village centre. Alternatively hire a bike and enjoy a leisurely cycle around the vineyards.

    If sampling wines today, your clients should designate a sober driver, New Zealand has strict laws on drinking and driving and heavy penalties apply.

    Martinborough is at the heart of the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail, packed full of boutique wineries and excellent eateries. Award-winning Pinot Noir is a signature variety of the region and the local produce is second to none.

    Recommended activities:

  • Day 3: Greytown - Cape Palliser - Greytown

    Drive Fly 1 hour 30 minutes 80 KMS 49 MI

    In the morning self-drive the dramatically scenic road from Greytown to Cape Palliser, approximately 1 hour 30 minutes.

    Spend the day exploring Cape Palliser.

    Alternatively your clients may wish to join the local postman as he delivers the mail along scenic country roads and rugged coastline between the township of Featherston and Cape Palliser.

    Recommended activities:

    • Stop at the fishing village of Ngawi and see the distinctive fleet of tractors and bulldozers parked on the beach
    • Explore Lake Ferry
    • Walk the 250 steps up to the Cape Palliser lighthouse
    • View the North Island’s largest colony of New Zealand fur seals at Cape Palliser 
    • Visit the Putangirua Pinnacles, a filming location for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. The walk to the pinnacles will take approximately two hours return. Food, water and sensible walking shoes are advised
  • Day 4: Greytown - Masterton - Greytown

    Drive Fly 23 minutes 24 KMS 14 MI

    After brunch self-drive from Greytown to Masterton, approximately 25 minutes, or take the local bus.

    Spend the day exploring Masterton.
    Masterton is the largest town in the Wairarapa region. It is well known for its Golden Shears shearing competition held every year in March.

    Recommended activities:

    • Enjoy the beautiful gardens at Queen Elizabeth Park
    • Visit Aratoi Wairarapa Museum of Art and History
    • See the rare white kiwi plus other birds and wildlife at Pukaha Mount Bruce, just north of Masterton
    • Enjoy a full guided tour of the iconic Tui Brewery in the quaint village of Mangatainoka, north of Masterton
  • Day 5: Greytown - Wellington

    Drive Fly 1 hour 76 KMS 47 MI

    Spend the morning exploring Greytown. In the afternoon self-drive from Greytown to Wellington, approximately 1 hour. Alternatively catch a local bus to Woodside Station in Greytown and board the train to Wellington.

    Your clients may wish to continue on the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail and self-drive from Greytown to Napier, approximately 3 hours.