The Cape Palliser lighthouse, NZ fur seal colony, Putangirua Pinnacles, Ngawi fishing village with its curious fleet of colouful bulldozers and the rugged, pounding surf are features not to be missed; the Cape Palliser lighthouse was named by Lonely Planet in the Top 10 'flashiest lighthouses' in the world.
The road out here does turn to gravel - if you're not comfortable driving then hop on the Hammonds Palliser Bay Tour from Martinborough or Wellington. Or the local postman's tour, To the Coast with the Post, gets you into fine detail on the coastal stories.
In the north, the sealed Te Ore Ore Road runs east from Masterton to two spectacular, family-friendly beach settlements at Castlepoint and Riversdale. Castlepoint was voted in the Top 10 Most Loved Beaches by New Zealanders.
Castlepoint is beautiful and home to the most photogenic lighthouse in New Zealand. Castlepoint is the perfect getaway with four surf breaks, a sheltered lagoon and several interesting walking trails.