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 ( Sunday services are via bus while KiwiRail does infrastructure improvements and essential track maintenance). Check out a Wellington to Wairarapa timetable. 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 (while KiwiRail does infrastructure improvements and essential track maintenance, Sunday services from Wellington will be via bus not train). Another option is to book a shuttle with Rimutaka 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). It will whisk you straight to Main Street Greytown.
- To get to Greytown on a Saturday you’ll actually need to get off the train at Featherston Station. This arrives at 10.46am. You hop on the route 200 bus waiting at the station at 10.58am which takes you to Main Street Greytown. You’ll arrive there at 11.15am. To get back to Featherston to catch the train back to Wellington on weekend afternoons catch 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 at 5.10pm in time for the train. You'll return to Wellington at 6.25pm.
- To get to Greytown on a Sunday - while KiwiRail does infrastructure improvements and essential track maintenance, Sunday services from Wellington will be via bus not train. The bus leaves Wellington Railway Station at 9.25am and arrives at Greytown at 10.54am . 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 5.17pm. You'll return to Wellington at 6.46pm
- 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.
Take a guided day tour from Wellington:
Martinborough Gourmet 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.
Village Artisan 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 Wellington by shuttle bus
Green Jersey Shuttles depart Wellington for Martinborough daily at 9.15am (also stopping at Petone and Kaitoke for the Remutaka Cycle Trail). They then depart Martinborough for Wellington at 5.45pm, and Wellington airport at 7.30pm and Wellington i-SITE and Railway Station at 8pm for Martinborough (also stopping in Greytown and Featherston). Learn more here or book online here.
Flying from the North
Up North or down South? Fly Palmy! It's easy to fly into Palmerston North airport, hire a Cross Country Rentals car then drive onto Wairarapa. Get directions here and check out fun places you can stop on your way.
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 i-SITE.
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.
Drving an electric car?
See a list of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations located right around the Wairarapa.