Just over an hour’s drive from Wellington, the Wairarapa region combines the peace and tranquillity of the countryside with life’s greatest luxuries: good food and wine. Once a quiet rural village, the township of Martinborough is now a flourishing boutique wine centre; there are sprawling vineyards as far as the eye can see.
On the outskirts of town lies Peppers Parehua, a stunning Martinborough resort surrounded by extensive gardens and rolling green hills. When it comes to desirable accommodation in Martinborough, Peppers tops the list; complete with panoramic views, it’s ideally situated for those who want to make the most of the fresh produce and quality wine that this region has to offer.
Activities & Attractions
When you visit the Wairarapa region, food and wine takes centre stage.
Martinborough itself is essentially the wine centre of the region; the Martinborough Wine Trail is a must for the avid connoisseur. From the village centre, it’s possible to either walk or cycle to any – or all – of the 24 local vineyards that span the region. It’s a unique ‘walking wine tour’ experience not to be missed. If you’d prefer to sample the region’s best wines beneath one roof, the Martinborough Wine Centre is the place to go. Centrally located, it offers the very best wines from around the area and further afield, and holds wine tasting events on a regular basis. While you’re there, be sure to sample some locally sourced gourmet delicacies.
If you enjoy fresh ale, Tui Brewery is less than an hour and a half away in Mangatainoka. The famous old Tui Tower is an attraction in itself; open seven days a week, visitors can take a look through the museum for free, embark on a guided tour of the brewery, enjoy a tasting session, or grab a bite to eat at Tui HQ Cafe. Be sure to check the events calendar before heading down, because there’s always something brewing at Tui! If you’d like to try more than one brand of fresh New Zealand ale straight from the source, the Martinborough Brewery is just 15 minutes’ drive from Peppers Parehua. Situated in the heart of Martinborough and surrounded by vineyards, you’ll have the opportunity to sample premium hand-crafted beer in four distinct varieties including Hop Elixir, Vintage Gold, Foxy Red and Black Nectar.
When it comes to dining out in Martinborough, sumptuous food and world-class wine go hand in hand. A fine dining establishment, The Pavilion Restaurant at Peppers Parehua serves up the region’s finest wines and freshest local produce. Away from the resort, some of the best places to eat are wineries, allowing you to enjoy fresh, seasonal meals whilst overlooking picturesque vineyards.
If a glass of wine and magical views aren’t enough to satisfy your craving for the great outdoors, Martinborough provides adventure seekers a wide range of other options.
The region offers both hikers and mountain bike riders a choice of terrain; the mountainous country to the west gives way to flat, open plains before you reach the rugged coastline of the east. A short drive away at the foot of the Tararuas, Waiohine Gorge’s iconic swing bridge is the gateway to many picturesque mountain tracks. For hikers that wish to trade scenic bushland for views of the Southern Ocean, the Wairarapa coastline is truly stunning in all its rugged beauty. Treacherous at times, the coast is home to some of the North Island’s best surf breaks including White Rock, Tora and Palliser Bay. Around an hour from Martinborough, the Wairarapa coastline is the perfect day trip, and tours are available for those who’d prefer to sit back and enjoy the scenery.
Much to the excitement of animal lovers, the Wairarapa region is also home to an abundance of wildlife. Down on the coast, Cape Palliser is home to the North Island’s largest fur seal colony, while the mountainous regions feature an abundance of birdlife and wild deer. Less than an hour away, the Pukaha Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre is the perfect place to get up close and personal with some of New Zealand’s best-known species, including the flightless kiwi.
When it comes to history, the Wairarapa region has an extensive array of museums and exhibitions on offer. Learn more about the region’s farming history at the Wool Shed in Masterton, take a look at the Fell Locomotive Museum in Featherston, or view an impressive collection of cultural material at the Aratoi-Wairarapa Museum of Art & History.
Visitors to Martinborough looking for ways to relax can enjoy some retail therapy amongst the town’s gorgeous array of boutique stores selling designer clothing, home wares and beauty products. Alternatively, indulge in a rejuvenating facial, relaxing massage or reinvigorating body treatment at one of the local beauty parlours.
Although winter is a little quieter in the Wairarapa region, it’s a truly magical time to visit. Wine tours and food can be enjoyed all year round; in fact there’s nothing better than settling down in front of a glowing fire with a glass of wine in hand. The wineries are open during the cooler months, with many serving sumptuous winter-inspired meals that are sure to warm your soul.
Accommodation in Martinborough
Surrounded by manicured lawns and picture-perfect gardens, Peppers Parehua is the ultimate Martinborough resort. Choose from a range of quaint yet beautifully furnished one bedroom cottages, or book the two bedroom Woodland Villa if you require a little more space.
If you’re looking for the perfect place to relax and unwind whilst enjoying the wonders of the Wairarapa region, look no further than Peppers.