Day (or longer) trips from Wellington
Part 2 - South Wairarapa
Take Highway 2 from Wellington and drive over the Rimutaka Hill Road towards Featherston. On approaching Featherston turn left into Western Lake Road. Continue along this scenic route with expansive views of Lake Wairarapa and undulating farmland and turn left into the East – West Access Road. At the East – West Access and Kahutara Roads junction turn right and then right again into Lake Ferry Road and follow the signs to Pirinoa and Lake Ferry.
At the end of the road stop for New Zealand’s famous “fish & chips” at the Lake Ferry Hotel and enjoy views of Lake Onoke and Palliser Bay. Allow approximately 1 hour 45 minutes travel time from Wellington.
After lunch if you feel like getting off the beaten track travel back along Lake Ferry Road and turn right into Cape Palliser Road and travel 40 kms to the Cape Palliser lighthouse. On the way visit the spectacular spires of the Putangirua Pinnacles and the fishing village of Ngawi. Stop the car to view at close range the fur seal colony before reaching the lighthouse and climbing the 252 steps to take in the panoramic views of Palliser Bay.
Alternatively, on arriving in Featherston you may wish to drive 18kms south east to Martinborough. This and the adjacent Gladstone area are well known for its boutique vineyards. Sample the excellent wines such as pinot noir and the delicious food offered at some of the wineries/vineyards. Should you decide to spend the night in Martinborough there are many accommodation options for you to consider including staying at one of the gorgeous vineyards.
Events in the south Waiararapa
- Martinborough Fair
- Castlepoint Beach Horse Races
- Waiararapa Wines Harvest Festival
- Round the Vines fun walk/run
- Toast Martinborough
Updated June 2012