Wairarapa's right in the centre of New Zealand, and just a short hop over the hill from Wellington.
From Wellington by car
Jump on State Highway 2 for a direct, scenic drive up through the Remutaka Pass and down into the Wairarapa plains. It's 1hr 10 to Featherston. Add another 15 min for Greytown or Martinborough, or 20 min for Carterton or Masterton. Check conditions on the Remutaka Pass on web cam.
This driving-times page is super handy.
Wairarapa is a great day trip from Wellington and there are lots of ways to do that.
From Wellington by train
Sit back and gaze at the scenery - you'll be in Wairarapa in an hour. Check out a Wellington to Wairarapa timetable.
- Bring your bike! Just get to the station early at peak commuter times (4.25pm and 5.30pm) - the bike carriage can fill up fast.
- Coming to Featherston (1h), Carterton (1h25) or Masterton (1h30)? The train stops near the centre of these towns so you can stroll straight to shops, cafes and accommodation.
- Coming to Martinborough? Hop off the train in Featherston and board a Martinborough bus which meets every train on weekdays and Saturdays. On Sundays and public holidays the Green Jersey Explorer Bus meets the10.52 train arriving into Featherston from Wellington - it will then transfer you over to Martinborough. In the afternoon the Green Jersey Explorer Bus will leave Martinborough at 4.55pm to connect with the 5.26pm train departing from Featherston to return to Wellington. Cost for the bus is $10 per person.
- Another option on Sundays or public holidays is to book a shuttle with Rimutaka Shuttles or Martinborough Shuttles.
- Getting to Greytown (1h10): Greytown's train station is called Woodside and it's 5km out of town. A shuttle bus will meet the train and whisk you straight to Main Street every day except Sunday. Or use pedal power - bring your bike on the train and cycle into town along the pretty Woodside Trail.
Take a guided day tour from Wellington:
Tranzit Gourmet Martinborough Wine Tour is a guided tour takes in four of Martinborough vineyards and includes lunch. Learn why this charming village is home to some of the world’s top Pinot Noir.
Hammonds Palliser Bay Tour. Explore part of the Wairarapa coastline and see the famous Cape Palliser lighthouse, the fishing village of Ngawi, the fantastic seal colony and some dramatic Lord of The Rings film sites.
Greytown Tour is a full-day guided tour from Wellington to Greytown, Martinborough and Featherston. Experience beautiful boutique shopping, lunch, wine and cheese while all of your transport is taken care of.
From Palmerston North by car
It's 1hr 15 from Palmy to Masterton - follow the signs to Woodville. This easy drive takes you through rolling countryside and a bunch of fun places to stop along the way.
From Palmerston North by coach
Intercity coach service run from Palmerston North to Masterton via Woodville. Take a look at the Intercity Coach timetable.
Rent a car - check out locally based companies and those nearby.
From Hawke's Bay by car
It's an easy drive down the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail from the Bay. Just two and a half hours from Napier to Masterton.
Main roads closed between Wairarapa towns? Check out these alternative routes.