Driver Information
New Zealand ItinerariesTravel distance is approximately 102kms (63 miles).
Allow at least 1.50 hours drive time (not including stops).

Due to the close proximity of Masterton to Wellington city, Masterton and other popular Wairarapa locations are popular with Wellingtonians looking to escape the city for the weekend or public holidays, which is why we suggest you pre-book your Masterton accommodation if travelling during peak holiday seasons or long weekends.

The Wairarapa is a renowned North Island wine region, with both Masterton and Martinborough being the top townships for wine lovers to visit.

Your short journey will take you away from the bustle of downtown Wellington as you escape to the rural outskirts, travelling over the Rimutaka Ranges down into the Wairarapa grape region.

Some notable stops along the route to Masterton include:

New Zealand ItinerariesEnjoy the quaint Victorian main street with plenty of stylish cafes and boutique shops. This is a great place to stop for brunch or lunch before taking a stroll down the picturesque street to visit the unique selection of antique and art shops. New Zealand’s oldest pub is also located here! As they locals like to say… “Brunch, lunch, shop and stop”!

On the road between Greytown and Masterton, Carterton is becoming a popular visitor spot for many reasons, including hot-air ballooning and as access point to the astronomy centre. This friendly township offers fabulous cafes, bakeries and restaurants. Just outside the township you’ll find the Waiohine Gorge swing bridge and the Parkvale Mushroom Factory.

Located at the North end of Carterton Township, Paua World is open daily and is a truly unique all-weather attraction for visitors. Enjoy a meander through the factory to see Paua, Pink Mussel & Mother of Pearl shells being carved by experienced craftsmen, check out the salt-water aquarium with live Paua, Seahorses, Rock Cod and other sea life before browsing the extensive range of quality jewellery, gifts, ornaments and New Zealand Souvenirs for sale.

Unique full-scale working adaptation of Stonehenge that incorporates ancient Egyptian, Babylonian and Celtic astronomy, Polynesian navigation and Maori star lore. This is a practical open-sky observatory is used to teach maramataka (the calendars of time and seasons) and also forms a Polynesian star compass and can be used to teach navigation. Only 10 minutes from Carterton.

Wairarapa’s largest town is the ideal location to base your self for exploring this fabulous winery region. A popular weekend summer destination for Wellingtonians, it is recommended that you pre-book your accommodation during the busy summer and holiday seasons. Accommodation is varied and offers something for all budgets, including quaint bed and breakfast homes. There is also plenty of quality cafes and restaurants plus a sprawling main street with a huge range of shops.

Highly recommended Masterton tourist attractions include…

Aratoi – The Wairarapa Museum of Art and History boasts a relatively small but interesting collection of art works and historic objects as well as donated art work by New Zealand renowned artists including Colin McCahon, Toss Woollaston, John Drawbridge and Denis O’Connor. Aratoi also acts as kaitiake (guardian) to a growing collection of Maori taonga.

Mt Bruce National Wildlife Centre – Only 20 minutes north of Masterton on State Highway 2, this fabulous wildlife location is ‘home’ to many threatened NZ native species, mainly birdlife, and allows visitors to view Kiwi, Tuatara and other New Zealand species.

Masterton Golf Club – Along with a cafe for lunchtime dining, visitors can hire golf carts and clubs for a day ‘on the green’. Beautiful valley views and excellent facilities come standard at the oldest Oldest golf club in the Wairarapa. 18 holes, par 72.

Vineyard & Winery Tour – Enjoy a wine trail with a local tour operator and check out some of the fabulous vineyards in the Wairarapa. With so many fabulous wineries and vineyards with cellar door tastings, let someone else do the driving for the day so you can savour the tastes of fine wine and delicious local foods.

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