A family-friendly destination in the Wairarapa region, Masterton offers expansive parklands, discovery centres and hydro-based fun parks beneath the Rimutaka Mountain Range. It also provides direct access to the Martinborough Wine Region for tasting and touring at renowned New Zealand wineries and cellar doors.
Things to do in Masterton
The 130-year-old Queen Elizabeth Park offers hours of outdoor fun, from feeding ducks and spotting swans on the lake to strolling the waterside promenade. You can also cross Qaipoua River on an old picturesque cross-bridge. Kids will love the wooden playground and miniature open-top train with its own station and bridges.
The Genesis Energy Recreation Centre offers a rapid river, hydro-slides and indoor options for rainy days. Take a 20-minute drive to reach Pukaha Mt Bruce Wildlife Centre for hiking a bush track after meeting the resident animals and birds, including the hihi stitchbird, native kakariki parakeet and North Island Kaka parrots.
Browse exhibits at the Wool Shed Museum, which is also New Zealand's National Museum of Sheep and Shearing. You’ll learn the ins-and-outs of sheep history and the shearing industry through contemporary interactive displays and restored traditional woolsheds.
Drive 30 minutes outside Masterton to find the Martinborough Wine Trail, where dozens of vineyards and wineries sit along small country roads. Pop into cellar doors, walk through the vineyards and pick up artisanal foods from local shops and gourmet restaurants. Consider ditching your car and joining the guided “Grape to Glass” winery tour.
Getting around Masterton
You can pick up a rental car at Wellington International Airport for the 105-kilometre drive to Masterton or take the Wairarapa Line railway. Public buses, taxis and bicycle rentals service the town.