Top 10 Wairarapa Family Attractions


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!).

Lighthouse at Cape Palliser

Lighthouse at Cape Palliser

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).

Putangirua Pinnacles

Putangirua Pinnacles

3) Walk the Landsdowne Recreational Trail - secluded spot close to town if you fancy a walk in under an hour (free).

Lansdowne Recreational Trail

Lansdowne Recreational Trail

4) Pukaha Mt Bruce - a wonderland of native wildlife located in the Tararua’s 70 Mile Bush.

Pukeha Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre

Pukeha Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre

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).

Morrison's Bush

Morrison's Bush

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).

Lavender Abbey

Lavender Abbey

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