Martinborough is a great base for exploring the Wairarapa and we’ve collated some of our favourite attractions and activities below.


Day trip to Cape Palliser

Palliser lighthouse
Lonely Planet named the lighthouse at Cape Palliser one of its ‘Top 10 Flashiest Lighthouses’ a day trip to Cape Palliser is a highlight of any stay in the Wairarapa. Thanks to Destination Wairarapa for the image.


Palliser Bay Seal Colony
The fur seal colony at Cape Palliser is the largest in the North Island.


Ngawi Fishing Village Palliser Bay
Ngawi fishing village is nestled in Palliser Bay. Bulldozers are used to push the boats out, making this an interesting stop.


The Putangirua Pinnacles featured in Lord of the Rings
The Pinnacles are approx. 40 minute drive from Martinborough on the way to Cape Palliser. There are great walking tracks available and these rock formations featured in Lord of the Rings.



Animal Attractions

Pukaha Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre

See Manukura the White Kiwi at Pukaha Mount Bruce
Pukaha Mount Bruce is approx. 15 minutes drive north of Masterton. As well as Manukura, the white kiwi, you can see other endangered native bird species, tuatara and eels.


Heavenly Horse Treks

Heavenly Horse Treks, South Wairarapa
This family run operation is based on Riversdale Station, a 55 minute drive from Martinborough. Their horses have been carefully chosen for their temperament and character. Treks are guided and can be tailored to the ability of the rider.



The Wairarapa is a destination for walkers of all ages and abilities. From multiple night tramps in national parks to easy day walks there is something for everyone. We have information at reception.

Tora Walk


Palliser Vineyard Walk

Vineyard sunset
An easy 30 minute walk that starts at the end of our road. Please follow all signs, do not enter during bird scaring operations and stick to the track. Closed between 7.30am and 4.30pm weekdays and at other times – indicated by signage at the entrance.


Rapaki Hillside Walk

Rapaki Hillside Walk, Martinborough
Starts 1km from the eastern end of Dublin Street on Shooting Butts Road. A moderate farm land loop track with spectacular views over the Wairarapa valley. Closed mid July until the end of August for lambing. Dogs not permitted at any time.


Putangirua Pinnacles

Putangirua Pinnacles Palliser Bay
45 minutes drive towards Cape Palliser from Martinborough, these rock formations featured as Dimholt Road in the Lord of the Rings. There is a 2 hour return walk from the car park with longer walks outlined on information signage. The bush walk offers spectacular view of the Kaikoura mountains in the South Island.



Ruamahanga River Wairarapa Trout Fishery
The Ruamahanga River is the principal trout fishery in the Wairarapa. It offers a range of fishing experiences with easy access to most parts of the river. The closest access is just 2kms from Martinborough at the Marinborough Bridge on SH53.