We moved to the Wairarapa in 2017 and wanted to explore the region. We made a list of all the things we wanted to do - mix of free and affordable activities, we had plenty of fun ticking them off the list.
Here's what we recommend if you're in town with the family:
1) Day trip to Cape Palliser - see the seals and take a walk up to the lighthouse (free), followed by fish and chips at the pub in Lake Ferry (cheap!).
2) See the spectacular Putangirua Pinnacles - amazing rock formations and it has star quality too. Peter Jackson filmed here for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (free).
3) Walk the Landsdowne Recreational Trail - secluded spot close to town if you fancy a walk in under an hour (free).
4) Pukaha Mt Bruce - a wonderland of native wildlife located in the Tararua’s 70 Mile Bush.
5) Pizza at Watermill Bakery - open on Friday nights only, you can BYO alcohol and eat under the stars.
6) Lunch at a vineyard in Martinborough - the region is famous for its wine making! Plenty of choice here for lunch and wine tastings.
7) Picnic at Morrison's Bush - a family farm that opens its doors to the public, a tranquil spot by the river (free or a donation to stay overnight).
8) Swimming at the South Wairarapa outdoor pools - there's one in Carterton, Greytown, Featherston and Martinborough (free).
9) Pedal boats, mini putt and baby deer at Queen Elizabeth Park - they also have a train and a huge playground. Ideal place for the kids and there are shops, cafes and supermarkets nearby so perfect for a picnic lunch too.
10) Pick lavender at Lavender Abbey - for something totally different but it only happens in summer (donation).