Family fun in Wairarapa

If you are travelling with the family, base yourself in Masterton and you will have plenty to keep the kids entertained. See the below suggestions for ides to have fun with the whole family including native wildlife, farm animals, pedal boats and beautiful scenery.

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Visit Pukaha Mt Bruce National Wildlife Centre

You can gain a great understanding of conservation at Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre. Pūkaha is home to some of New Zealand’s most endangered wildlife including tuatara, eels, kaka, kōkako, kākāriki and the white kiwi, Manukura - the only white kiwi in captivity in the world.

Pukaha Mt Bruce National Wildlife Centre website

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Visit Queen Elizabeth Park

Queen Elizabeth Park in Masterton is probably the best kids park in New Zealand. Deer, ducks, paddle boats, a mini train, a mini golf course and an ice cream truck every day in the summertime. You could spend a few hours or the whole afternoon at Queen Elizabeth Park.

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Ride the pedal boats

Boating across the lake at Queen Elizabeth Park is loads of fun for the whole family. Whether you’re after a kayak, a row boat or a pedal boat there’s nothing like gliding over the water. If you like something a bit different then ask for the “swan” four-seater pedal boat.

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Drop in to The Wool Shed

Visit The Wool Shed, the national museum of sheep and shearing, to learn the history of wool and its importance to New Zealand, watch spinning and weaving demonstrations, and perhaps even get the chance to see a sheep being shorn.

The Wool Shed website

Take a farm tour at The Alpaca Place

For a wonderful animal experience, take a 1.5 hour guided interactive alpaca farm tour where you'll discover the amazing alpaca. Meet the mums and their babies as well as the majestic males. Alpacas are very gentle, so you'll be able to get up close and personal to the friendly alpacas!

The Alpaca Place website

The Alpaca Place Masterton
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Enjoy a walk at Waiohine Gorge

Waiohine Gorge is a popular camping and recreation area; it’s also the south eastern entrance to the Tararua Forest Park. A large swing bridge spans the gorge, inviting you to venture into the forest. Several excellent walking adventures begin here, including the track to Cone Hut.

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Visit Castlepoint

Visit the popular beach destination of Castlepoint for superb scenery, fishing, surfing and summer-patrolled beaches. This spot is popular with visitors and locals, with many people day-tripping or spending the weekend here. An hour from Masterton, you could visit for a few hours or extend your trip and spend the night.

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Check out Cobblestones

At Cobblestones Museum in Greytown you can get up-close with Wairarapa's colonial history. Sit at a desk in a country schoolhouse, explore Wairarapa's first public hospital, and climb the stairs to the tiny bedroom in the colonial cottage. There's a church, printing press and wool shed too.

Cobblestones website

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Continue to Wellington

After exploring the Wairarapa Region, continue driving south along the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail to reach Wellington, New Zealand’s compact capital city known for its vibrant arts and cultural scene and rich heritage. This section of the drive is about 75 minutes where you will drive across the Remutaka Ranges.

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Continue to Hawke's Bay

Alternatively, follow the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail north through the Tararua district to the Hawkes Bay. An easy circuit through pastoral landscapes to outlying vineyard clusters and charming small villages. Allow half a day for the drive and on the way, stop at the historic Tui Brewery in Mangatainoka. Join a guided tour and taste your way through the selection of ales, checking out the museum, shop and café.

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