winter in wairarapa

There’s nothing like winter in Wairarapa with our snowcapped mountains, crisp mornings and clear days. Our charming towns are home to warming food and boutique shopping, head out to our rugged coast, check out our wildlife or take it easy and explore our vineyards & wineries. They’re heaps of reasons to spend winter here:

Winter highlights...

  • EAT
  •  PEDAL
  • SHOP
  • STAY

Greytown Festival of Christmas - 29 June - 27 July. Experience spectacular lights, workshops, markets, parties, food and family fun, with an exciting new theme Fire and Ice. Bring the kids during the July school holidays!

Pastimes: Toys and Games - 1 June - 8 September. Take a trip down memory lane and explore toys and games from the last 150 years. Have a day full of nostalgia while checking out technology, playable tables, and classic board games on offer at Aratoi Wairarapa Museum of Art and History.

The Beach Boys Exhibition - 9 - 27 July. Featuring iconic images from The Beach Boys first official book at Hedley’s Books. 

Saturday Laughs - 20 July. Comedy with Ben Hurley and Justine Smith at Copthorne Solway, Masterton.

Mangatainoka Motors Japanese Car Day - 28 July. Enjoy the variety of Japanese cars on display as part of Toki Motors Show & Shine.

Aratoi Wairarapa Museum of Art and History is gem among regional art galleries. Discover local painters, photographers and sculptors and check out top-quality gifts.

Dark Sky - crisp winter nights are perfect for spotting the milky way, and Wairarapa is one of the best places to see our starry skies!

Experience Wairarapa’s spectacular coast - Castlepoint and Cape Palliser come alive in winter with their stunning lighthouses, plus at Cape Palliser see the seal colony and colourful bulldozers at nearby Ngawi.

Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre - get up close to endangered wildlife, walk through the free flight aviary home to native birds and listen to daily talks from the rangers.

Snow-capped hills - the Tararua Ranges often end up sporting a blanket of snow on winter nights. There’s no better view to go with your cosy breakfast or fireside meal!

Wairarapa eats - discover dozens of our top foodie delights right across the region.

Aunt Ginger's Kitchen, Carterton - pop in for their famous cheese scones described as the "holy trinity of crispiness, cheesiness, and fluffiness".

Brac & Bow, Featherston - try their new winter menu in the historic Royal Hotel.

Nga Waka, Martinborough - Cellar Door Dinner Series. Experience a guest chef's carefully curated dishes matched with vintage and current release wines. On the last Saturday of June, July and August.

Olive tasting - winter is olive season, and you can try Juno Olives or the Tree to Table at Olivo where you learn how to taste like a professional!

The Land Girl - a country cafe with character to boot in the tiny settlement of Pirinoa, open all winter Thursday to Monday. It's the perfect stop on your way to Cape Palliser.

Boutique vineyards - Wairarapa is at the heart of the Classic NZ Wine Trail with a range of vineyard experiences to suit all taste-buds.

Hire a bike - cycle the vineyards in Martinborough for a fun day out.

Martinborough Vine-Hop shuttle - weatherproof, on-demand shuttle service making vineyard wine tasting and lunch visits a breeze. Your ticket gives you service all day - just call when you’re ready to move to the next vineyard.

Greytown Distilling Company - find this gem inside Blackwell and Sons cycling emporium on the main street of Greytown. The Tasting Shed is open late on Friday and Saturday nights until 8pm until 27 July, as part of the Greytown Festival of Christmas. Taste their award winning gins.

Glenturret & Dine - 19th July. An evening with renowned Scotch Whisky expert Michael Fraser Milne from Whisky Galore. Taste rare single malts, enjoy lively Scottish music, and a delicious feast at Karahui Martinborough.

Urlar Winemaker Dinner at Parehua Resort - 20 July. 5 course dinner hosted by Jannine Rickards from Urlar.

Big Sky Winemaker Dinner at Parehua Resort - 27 July. 5 course dinner hosted by Katherine Jacobs and Jeremy Corban from Big Sky.

Discover Te Muna - 10 & 11 August. A delicious two day experience immersing yourself in the winemaking, viticulture and wines of Te Muna Valley with Big Sky, Blue Earth, and Escarpment.

Schoc Chocolates - wrap your chilly mitts around a gourmet Hot Choc from Schoc Chocolates made from Murray Langham's delectable hand-crafted flavours. 

Wairarapa Trails - it's a great time of year to jump on your bike and get pedaling.

Cycle the wineries - mix your cycling with wine tasting around Martinborough Wine Village.

Greytown Woodside Trail - come by train from Wellington? Pop your bike on and cycle the scenic Greytown trail. You can walk it too!

Remutaka Cycle Trail - from one day to multi-day trips. Pick a section to match your abilities and what you're after.

Blackwell and Sons - could this be New Zealand's most beautiful bike shop?

Featherston books - grab a must-read and cosy up for the afternoon! NZ's only booktown will have you sorted with a wide range of bookshops.

Greytown Village - retail therapy is good for the soul! Coming alive for the Festival of Christmas, you'll feel in the festive spirit perusing the designer clothing boutiques, shoe stores, homeware, antiques, and art shops.

Winter collections - don't miss picking up a new season piece at our fashion boutiques, Designer Clothing Gallery, Hall and The General Store are good places to start.

Stay and make the most of your Wairarapa visit. From boutique hotels and cosy bed & breakfasts, to budget friendly options, we have the perfect place to stay.

Book your accommodation

Need some local advice or recommendations? Our isite Visitor Information Team can book your accommodation and help you plan your trip.