Martinborough, Greytown, Featherston, Masterton, Castlepoint, Riversdale, Palliser Bay, Putangirua Pinnacles, Tararua Range, Rimutaka Range, Aorangi Forest Park, Lake Wairarapa, Mount Bruce, rural scenery.
The Wairarapa Region is located in the southeast of New Zealand's North Island, close to the capital City, Wellington. The region can be described as an agricultural plain surrounded by mountains and coastline and dotted with smaller towns that have retained their charm and character from a more friendlier past.
The Rimutaka and Tararua mountains to the west offer many tracks and trails through native forests and also scale mountain tops. Down on the plains, warm dry summers are perfect for the many vineyards found here and associated wine production. Quality wines Taratahi, Opaki, Gladstone, and Masterton hail from the Wairarapa. Each year, the town of Martinborough celebrates the regions wines in the Toast Martinborough Wine Festival. Martinborough is famous for its Pinot noir.
There are some nice uncrowded beaches in this region too. 70km east from the town of Masterton lies Castlepoint. This small settlement has a shop, campsite, and a number of baches and holiday homes. The area is famous for its uplifted reef, rugged cliffs, and huge sweeping beach with miles of sand. While suitable for swimming there is also some fine surf breaks. The end of the beach has an uplifted reef and lagoon. A scenic walk on the reff leads to a light house and offers great views of the Pacific Ocean. Further south lies Riversdale Beach a popular surfing beach that offers swimming and fishing too.
Aorangi Forest Park and Cape Palliser Coast is home to the scenic Putangirua Pinnacles, a valley of limestone pinnacles or hoodoos which is one of the best examples of badlands erosion in New Zealand. The coast is mostly rocky and has a number of seal colonies. There are some quality surf breaks along isolated areas of this coast.
Some of the bigger towns in the Wairarapa include: Masterton, Featherston, Carterton, Greytown, and Martinborough.
Author & photographer: David Johnson (Virtual New Zealand). Providing a credit or link is appreciated.
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