MASTERTON – WELLINGTON (Via PAHIATUA & KAPITI COAST)
Travel distance is approximately 246kms (153 miles).
Allow at least 3.00 hours drive time (not including stops).
After an enjoyable overnight stay in Masterton, you can enjoy an alternative travelling route back to Wellington as you depart Masterton, heading North on State Highway 2 as you travel through the Manawatu Gorge before turning off at Pahiatua to navigate the Pahiatua Track which leads you onto the Kapiti Coast via State Highway 57 and then back down to Wellington city.
Some notable stops along the route to Wellington include:
NATIONAL WILDLIFE CENTRE
Pukaha Mount Bruce is New Zealand’s National Wildlife Centre for conservation of some of NZ’s most endangered wildlife. Enjoy wildlife viewing, eco and nature tour experiences and get up close and personal with Kiwi, Tuatara, Kaka and more! A must visit on your journey; the centre is located 10kms south of Eketahuna on State Highway 2.
Located in Mangatainoka, his iconic building is home to the Tui Brewery, one of New Zealand’s top beers! Along with beer tasting, there is now a cafe on-site for good Kiwi tucker. Brewery tours are highly recommend and available by prior booking.
Only 40 minutes from Wellington and the Hutt Valley finds you in the Kapiti Coast with its stunning beaches, lush bush clad hills and nature reserves. There is plenty of sights, attractions and shopping on offer along this 40km stretch of coastal paradise.
Located 5km off-shore on the Kapiti Coast, Kapiti Island is home to internationally famed nature reserve protecting some of the world’s rarest and most endangered birds. There are 2 public tracks on the Island, and there are plenty of tours running via sea and air for those only having a quick stop. Alternatively, enjoy a 3-hour return walk to the top of the Island.
New Zealand’s capital city is a surprisingly compact city and is where you can take a ferry crossing across Cook Strait to the South Island. The central city boasts a vibrant cafe scene and some of the best coffee you’ll taste in New Zealand. This exciting and vibrant city is considered the arts and culture capital of New Zealand has plenty to offer visitors enthusiastic about the performing arts, theatre and live music. You will have plenty of restaurants and cafes to choose from plus accommodation to suit all budgets and requirements.
Highly recommended Wellington tourist attractions include…
Te Papa – You cannot visit Wellington without going to New Zealand’s national museum. Te Papa’s Marae is a vibrant contemporary meeting house and a living communal centre, unique in a museum.
Kiwi Designer Shopping – For the visitor that loves to shop, Wellington offers some great shopping from famous New Zealand designers, including Karen Walker, Zambesi and many more.
Wellington Cable Car – Take the Cable Car from Lambton Quay and past Kelburn Park and Victoria University to the top of Upland Road onto the Lookout, which is also home to Carter Observatory, Planetarium and Cable Car Museum. Enjoy the city views below.
Karori Sanctuary – Home to some of New Zealand’s rarest and most endangered wildlife including the little spotted kiwi, tuatara, saddleback, stitchbird and kaka. Enjoy a leisurely stroll through the bush, lakes and historical buildings or take a guided tour.
Parliament Buildings Tour – Visit New Zealand’s beautifully refurbished Parliament Buildings, made up of three architecturally distinctive buildings, entry is free.
New Zealand Itineraries: North Island Suggested Itineraries
Our modern self-drive travel Itineraries have routes specifically for the North Island as well as the South Island, ranging from 5 to 11 days, plus there are some travel routes that take in both the North and South Island’s. Our range of travel itineraries include information regarding travel distances and time to ensure that you can make the best of your time in New Zealand, no longer how short your visit!
- 5 Day Itinerary: Auckland – Rotorua, Rotorua – Taupo, Taupo – Waitomo Caves and Waitomo Caves – Auckland
- 6 Day Itinerary: Auckland – Coromandel, Coromandel – Whitianga, Whitianga – Tauranga, Tauranga – Rotorua and Rotorua – Auckland
- 6 Day Itinerary (route 2): Auckland – Dargaville, Dargaville – Kaitaia, Kaitaia – Paihia, Paihia – Whangarei and Whangarei – Auckland
- 7 Day Itinerary: Auckland – Whitianga, Whitianga – Tauranga, Tauranga – Rotorua, Rotorua – Taupo, Taupo – Napier and Napier – Wellington
- 8 Day Itinerary: Wellington, Wellington – Masterton, Masterton – Wellington, Wellington – Nelson, Nelson – Blenheim and Blenheim – Christchurch
- 9 Day Itinerary: Auckland – Coromandel, Coromandel – Whitianga, Whitianga – Tauranga, Tauranga – Gisborne, Gisborne – Napier, Napier – Taupo, Taupo – Rotorua, Rotorua – Waitomo Caves and Waitomo Caves – Auckland
- 9 Day Itinerary (route 2): Auckland – Whangarei, Whangarei – Paihia, Paihia – Hokianga, Hokianga – Auckland, Auckland – Rotorua, Rotorua – Taupo, Taupo – Waitomo Caves and Waitomo Caves – Auckland
- 11 Day Itinerary: Auckland – Whitianga, Whitianga – Tauranga, Tauranga – Rotorua, Rotorua – Gisborne, Gisborne – Napier, Napier Taupo Napier, Napier – Wellington, Wellington – New Plymouth, New Plymouth – Waitomo and Waitomo Caves – Auckland