Queen Elizabeth Park in Masterton is probably the best kids park in New Zealand. A huge playground, deer, ducks, paddle boats, a miniature train and mini golf course . Nice!
The Classic New Zealand Wine Trail (State Highway 2) runs from Hawkes Bay down to Marlborough with Wairarapa wineries in the middle; home to Martinborough, Gladstone and Masterton vineyards.
See some of the rarest aircraft in the world at Wings Over Wairarapa, a must see airshow held every two years in Masterton at Hood Aerodrome, Masterton.
The Mt Holdsworth - Jumbo Circuit is a two to three day tramp to some of the best alpine tops travel in the Tararua Forest Park. The bush tracks are all well marked and signposted and streams are bridged.
Holdsworth is the main entrance to the eastern side of the Tararua Forest Park. Set against the backdrop of some of the highest peaks in the Tararua Range, Holdsworth offers short walks and longer tramps through attractive forest and higher up into the alpine environment.
Powell Hut and Mount Holdsworth is a classic tramping route in the Tararua Range. The route to the summit of Mount Holdsworth (1,470 metres) is exposed to winds but otherwise straight-forward and the views are well worth the effort.
The Tararua Range provides Wellington, Wairarapa, Horowhenua and Manawatu with an outstanding variety of tramping, hunting and walking opportunities in a wild, natural landscape.
At 116,535 hectares the Tararua Forest Park is the largest conservation park managed by the Department of Conservation in the North Island.
The main entrance on the Wairarapa, eastern side, of the Tararua Range is Mount Holdsworth near Masterton. Waiohine Gorge near Carterton is another popular gateway to south eastern Tararua Forest Park. On the Kapiti Coast, western side, the entrance is at Otaki Forks where multi day tramps traverse the ranges and arrive in the Wairarapa.
MOUNTAIN ALERTS should always be checked here before departing on a tramp into the mountains.
Hut Tickets are essential for an overnight stay in a back country hut. Purchase your hut tickets and hut passes from the Masterton i-SITE Visitor Centre.
Topographical Maps of the back country are available at i-SITE Visitor Centres.
Personal Locator Beacons effective to 62m and monitored by NZ Rescue Coordination Centre. Just $5 a day! Bookings essential +64 6 370 0155
The main tramping routes in the Tararua Ranges are:
Gentle Annie Loop Track is one of the most popular day trips in the park. The east grade of the Gentle Annie Track climbs past the Rocky Lookout, through the heartland of Pig Flat to Mountain House Shelter before descending onto the Donnelly Flat Loop Track to enjoy an interesting round trip with a range of forest walking.
Totara Flats is in a beautiful setting at the confluence of the Waiohine River and Totara Creek. Take advantage of the excellent swimming hole right in front of the hut.
Powell Hut and Mount Holdsworth climbs through beech forest that markedly reduces in stature as the bushline and Powell Hut are approached (1,200 metres). Reaching the summit of Mount Holdsworth (1,470 metres) gives a real sense of achievement and well worth a photo.
Mount Holdsworth Jumbo Circuit is a two to three day tramp involving a climb through beech-podocarp forest to some of the best alpine tops in the Tararua Forest Park.
Mitre Flats on the Barra Track is an excellent first tramp for families.
Chopper into the Tararuas with Amalgamated Helicopters. WOW!
Just 20 minutes from Masterton, on the way to Castlepoint and Riversdale, Rewanui Forest Park is a series of loop walks through a 334 hectare farm with a significant stand of native bush.