World War I; Wairarapa Wide

This self-guided tour takes you to many of the Wairarapa’s scenic towns and villages. It's best done over a couple of days.

Other self-guided tours that take a little less time:

STOP 1: Rimutaka Summit
State Highway 2

Marching over the Rimutaka Hill

From September 1915 until April 1918 about 60,000 infantry reinforcements marched over the Rimutaka Range to Trentham Camp. The Wairarapa Patriotic Association provided a meal for up to 2,000 men as they passed the summit.

Cuppa time at Rimutaka Summit with women from the Wairarapa Patriotic Association

Setting off before dawn and accompanied by the camp's brass band, the soldiers would reach the summit by mid-morning. The next night they would stage a simulated night attack in the Mangaroa hills, before the final morning's march to Trentham.


STOP 2: Featherston Military Camp
State Highway 2

Featherston Military Camp

Featherston Military Camp was a temporary home for over 60,000 soldiers in training between January 1916 and November 1918. The barracks housed 4500, with a tent camp (Canvas Camp) holding about 3,000.

Infantry would spend about two months in camp, while mounted rifles and artillery did almost all their training at Featherston. The camp opened in January 1916 and over 60,000 men trained here. The hospital area was south of SH2 bounded by Main Road and Camp Road, opposite the barrack camp.

Here's a good map to see the layout of the military camp in relation to current roads.


STOP 3: Memorial Gates, Martinborough
At the end of Kitchener Street

Memorial Gates, Martinborough

This beautiful little town has World War One Memorial Gates in the town square. The memorial lists 50 dead from the area.

Unveiled in 1921, the gates joined the existing South African War Memorial (in the centre). A World War Two memorial was added opposite the Pain & Kershaw building.


STOP 4: 42 Sackville Street

42 Sackville Street, Martinborough

A small house built from half of a Featherston Camp hutment. Although modified, the house retains much of the original look.


STOP 5: Papawai Camp
Fabians Rd, near junction with Papawai Rd

Papawai Camp

Set up in 1915 after training began at Tauherenikau Camp, the camp was next to Papawai Rifle Range where soldiers undertook their musketry (shooting) courses. 500 men could stay at the camp in tents.


STOP 6: Memorial Square, Carterton
State Highway 2

Memorial Square, Carterton

The square and its central memorial were dedicated in 1921, commemorating 114 Carterton area men.


STOP 7: Maungaraki War Memorial
Te Whiti Road

The little memorial, with 24 World War I and 10 World War II names, is for the Gladstone-Te Wharau and Longbush areas.

Past the plaque is an avenue of 36 scarlet oaks, forming part of the memorial which was unveiled in 1953.


STOP 8: Tinui War Memorial/Anzac Cross
Te Ore Ore Road (Masterton to Castlepoint Road)

The original Tinui CrossReplacing the Tinui Cross 1965

On 25 April 1916 the World’s first ever ANZAC service was held at the Church of the Good Shepherd. After the service the Tinui community erected a wooden cross on top of Mt. Maunsell (Tinui Taipo) as one of New Zealand’s first memorials to the Gallipoli Campaign.

The Anzac Cross was replaced by an aluminium version in 1965. The village now hosts a large Anzac Day service and a walk to visit the cross.

The original village memorial was moved to the War Memorial Hall in 1954.


STOP 9: Wairarapa Soldiers' Memorial
Queen Elizabeth Park
Dixon Street

Wairarapa Soldiers' Memorial

This memorial was unveiled on 16 September 1923. The 441 names on the panels include men and one woman from Woodville to Palliser Bay rather than just Masterton town and district.

The four sided marble memorial is surmounted by a bronze statue of 'The last ANZAC' by Frank 'Guy' Lynch, modelled on his brother Joseph.

Other major campaigns are inscribed around the memorial and World War II names were added to the cenotaph.


STOP 10: Mauriceville War Memorial
Opaki-Kaiparoro Road

Mauriceville Memorial

The memorial was unveiled in 1928 with 20 local names but was removed about 1939 for improvements to the school grounds. It was re-installed in 1955 with additional World War II names.


STOP 11: ANZAC Bridge, Kaiparoro
State Highway 2
Makakahi River Bridge

Kaiparoro ANZAC Bridge

The one-way concrete bridge crosses the Makakahi River just north of Pukaha National Wildlife Centre. It was built in 1922 by Alfred Falkner, father of one of six local soldiers commemorated on the bridge. There is a walkway from Millers Reserve, south of the bridge.

The two-way bridge on SH2 replaced the ANZAC Bridge in the 1950s.