Name: Candice Johanson
 
Position: Senior Communications Advisor 
 
What is your favourite ‘undiscovered location’ in New Zealand? 

Castlepoint in the Wairarapa 
 
Why is it special to you?
 
Even though it’s only about a 2.5-hour drive from Wellington, Castlepoint feels like a world away so it’s a great place to escape to for a long weekend or holiday. 
 
I’ve been holidaying in Castlepoint for over 30 years.  My family started going there when I was four and we have camped on the beach, stayed at the camping ground and in various baches. To me Castlepoint feels like a second home, as soon as we drive around the last corner and I can see the water I know I am going to have a relaxing time away from the noise of day to day life. It’s easy to while away your time exploring the beach, reading a book or going for a swim. 
 
Castlepoint is great for fishing and diving, surfing, swmming and walking. The lighthouse walk is amazing and makes for great photographs.  Each year they also have a horse racing event along the beach. 
 
Castlepoint is truly still one of New Zealand’s hidden gems, if you want to experience a truly Kiwi Summer holiday you should check it out. 
 
What is your best piece of advice for people visiting this location?
 
December and January is the busiest time so try and go in February/March if you prefer a quieter experience.  Mataikona is a small settlement along the coast and it is a great place to stay if you aren’t fussed about being based in Castlepoint township with plenty of baches for rent. 
 
Castlepoint is exposed so it can get windy – make sure you take some warm clothes just in case and maybe pack a deck of cards for inside days! 
 
What is the closest airport/how do you get there? 
 
Wellington is the closest international airport, which is around 2.5 hours’ drive from Castlepoint. It’s a very scenic drive through the Wairarapa, a pretty, rural region popular with visitors attracted by world-class pinot noir, boutique accommodation and chic shops. 
 
The Classic New Zealand Wine Trail (which starts in Blenheim, Marlborough and ends in the Hawke’s Bay) winds its way through the Wairarapa, offering travellers 380km of indulgence as it passes by wineries, artisan food producers and scenic landscapes.