Wairarapa's right in the centre of New Zealand, and just a short hop 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 so close to Wellington - it's a great day trip and there are lots of ways to do that.
From Wellington by train
Trains run connecting Wellington with the Wairarapa towns of Featherston, Greytown, Carterton and Masterton - check out a Wellington to Wairarapa timetable (due to upgrade work, buses replace all weekday daytime services between Featherston and Masterton. Check the timetable here). Simply catch a connecting bus to the wine village of Martinborough or the colonial village of Greytown - here's how:
- To get to and from Martinborough simply hop off the train in Featherston and board a Martinborough bus which meets every train except the late train on Fridays. Another option is to book a shuttle with Rimutaka Shuttles or Carterton Shuttles. Martinborough Wine Tours also offer transfers to/from Featherston station with bookings.
- To get to Greytown during the week hop off the train at Woodside Station (its 5km out of town) and board the bus which meets all weekday trains (except the late train on Fridays). Due to upgrade work all weekday daytime services between Featherston and Masterton are replaced by bus which takes you straight to Main Street Greytown.
- To get to Greytown on a Saturday or Sunday you'll actually need to get off the train at Featherston Station and hop on the route 200 bus waiting at the station which takes you to Main Street Greytown. To get back to Featherston and catch the return train to Wellington get the route 200 bus at 4.55pm outside St Johns Hall (opposite The Hub) on Main Street, (Greytown Bus Stop 1822 - Main Street near 74). This will get you to Featherston Station in time for the train back to Wellington. Check the timetable here and see below.
- To get to Greytown, if your train is replaced by bus - you'll be able to get off right in town at Bus Stop 1822 Greytown - Main Street near 74. To return to Wellington catch the bus at this same stop at 4.55pm. Check to see if your weekend train service is replaced by a bus here. Or use pedal power - bring your bike on the train and cycle into town along the pretty Woodside Trail.
- Bringing your bike? Just get to the station early at peak commuter times (4.25pm and 5.30pm) as the bike carriage can fill up fast.
From Wellington by Shuttle Bus
Green Jersey Shuttles offer an on-demand service between Wellington and Masterton. Learn more here.
Carterton Shuttles offer personal shuttle services to Wellington airport in a comfortable 9-seater shuttle or cab for 4-people.
Claremont Cabs - a reliable door to door shuttle and taxi service right around Wairarapa and Wellington tailored to suit you, including Wellington airport transfers.
Guided tours for small groups
Martinborough Gourmet Wine Tour is a small group tour that takes in four 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 is a small group tour that explores part of the Wairarapa coastline including the famous Cape Palliser lighthouse, the fishing village of Ngawi, the fantastic seal colony and some dramatic Lord of The Rings film sites.
Flying from the North
Up North or down South? Fly Palmy! It's easy to fly into Palmerston North airport, hire a car then drive onto Wairarapa. Get directions here and check out fun places you can stop on your way.
Get in touch with Wai Shuttles or Carterton Shuttles if you need a ride from Palmerston North airport.
From Palmerston North by car
It's about 1hr 30min from Palmy to Masterton - follow the signs to the Saddle Road (just out of Palmy), drive past the Wind Turbines on the way to Woodville, and then continue to the Wairarapa. Get further directions here and check out fun places you can stop on your way.
From Palmerston North by coach
An Intercity coach service runs between Masterton and Palmerston North via Woodville. Take a look at the Intercity Coach timetable or bus times here. The bus stop for the Masterton to Palmerston North service arrives and departs outside the Masterton isite Visitor Information Centre.
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.
Motorhomes and Campervans
Wairarapa is the perfect compact region to travel around in a motorhome or campervan. Hire your vehicle with Palmy Campers and learn more here.
Hire a car
- Check out Hertz Thrifty Car Rental in Masterton with a diverse and modern fleet to suit every journey.
- Take a look at The Lott Rentals in Masterton for a range of quality cars at affordable prices.
Check the road conditions here. Main roads closed between Wairarapa towns? Check our these alternative routes.
Drving an electric car?
See a list of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations located right around the Wairarapa.