The Wairarapa

The Wairarapa is the perfect country retreat and only one hour and 20 minutes drive north on State Highway 2 from the capital city Wellington. Oak Estate Motor Lodge and Conference Centre is, located in historic Greytown, New Zealand's first planned inland town which has the most complete main street of wooden Victorian buildings.

Oak Estate is set on park like grounds amongst beautiful oak trees and is centrally located to enjoy the local heritage, award winning cafes and restaurants, bountiful boutique shops, galleries and antique shops.

Martinborough wine region is just a short drive away as well as several golf courses and a wide selection of adventure activities.

For an up-to-date calendar of local events, check out www.wairarapanz.com web site.

The Wairarapa Valley (called by Maori "Land of Glistening Waters") encompasses a group of small settlement towns rich in history and offering the visitor a host of activities and places of interest to experience such as:

Papawai Marae, the site of the first Maori Parliament

Papawai Marae, the site of the first Maori Parliament

Pāpāwai is one of the most important marae in New Zealand. In the late 19th century it was the focus of Kotahitanga, the Māori parliament movement. Pāpāwai was established in the 1850s when the government set aside land for a Māori settlement near Greytown. 

Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre | Mt Bruce

Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre | Mt Bruce

Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre is an unfenced sanctuary for native wildlife. 942-hectare forest is home to wild kōkako and kākā, while inside aviaries breed endangered birds for release across Aotearoa New Zealand.

On your visit you will learn about conservation work and possibly see birds with their chicks in the aviaries. You may also come across wild birds in the forest such as the titipounamu (rifleman), kārearea (New Zealand falcon) and the kererū (wood pigeon). You may also see advocacy birds like Kahurangi the kōkako.

Refuel in the Kākā Café with some fresh kai overlooking the takahē. Pūkaha (at Mount Bruce) has been breeding wildlife since the early 1960s and is a partnership between Rangitāne o Wairarapa and the Department of Conservation. Non-profit and all proceeds go back into conservation projects.

Cape Palliser Lighthouse and Seal Colony

Cape Palliser Lighthouse and Seal Colony

Seals, stunning walks, and the spiffiest lighthouse in the country - you'll find them all at Cape Palliser. It's just an hour's drive from Martinborough, with unforgettable sea views along the way.

A grand old lady of a lighthouse cast iron Cape Palliser lighthouse has stood on the cliffs here since 1897 - and she's still shining strong. Climb the 253 steps to see her up close.

The Cape is also home to the North Island's largest fur seal colony. If you're here November to January you might just spot some pups. 

 

Putangirua Pinnacles

Putangirua Pinnacles

The Putangirua Pinnacles near Cape Palliser are some of the most amazing rock formations you will ever see. Put on your sturdy walking shoes and do a day trip, or bring the family camping here. Doing this walk early morning is best for the affect of the early sunshine coming through the rock formations and generally avoiding the heat of the day on this walk.

Cobblestones Museum

Cobblestones Museum

Rated No 1 attraction in Greytown on Trip Advisor. Cobblestones is a top heritage attraction for all ages, right in the heart of Wairarapa. Explore, discover, reminisce....there's plenty to do at Cobblestones where you'll get up-close with Wairarapa's colonial history, and be amazed at the treasure-trove of historical buildings, old time contraptions and machinery.

Schoc Chocolates

Schoc Chocolates

In December 2002 Schoc Chocolates was born. In a tiny turn-of-the century cottage, in gourmet Greytown’s main street (the original confectioners shop), owner and creator Murray Langham of the Chocolate Therapy books opened the doors to the sumptuous hand-made chocolates and small Chocolate Therapy studio. 

With 60 flavours in the tablet range alone - there is a chocolate that is perfect for you. From classic strawberry or heavenly caramel to the more challenging - and hugely popular - whole lime and chilli, sea salt, pink peppercorn, to name a few. 

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