Wairarapa is one of the rare areas spared of the tourist madness. That’s one but not the only reason I love it there. It is spectacular. We took an advantage of the long Labour weekend and explored Wairarapa a little bit more. The highlights of our trip were definitely Rimutaka Forest, Putangirua Pinnacles, Cape Palliser and Castlepoint.
Let’s have a closer look at Wairarapa. Geographical region of New Zealand that occupies the south-eastern corner of the North Island, east of metropolitan Wellington and south-west of the Hawke’s Bay region. It is lightly populated having several rural service towns, with Masterton being the largest. It is named after its greatest lake, Lake Wairarapa. That can be translated from Maori like ‘Glistening Waters’.
Rimutaka Forest offers gorgeous bush hikes with a range in length and difficulty. Most of them start from the Catchpool Valley. Population of brown kiwi has been established in the northern part so dogs are excluded in this area.
Putangirua Pinnacles are a geological rock formation and one of New Zealand’s best examples of badlands erosion. They consist of a large number of earth pillars or hoodoos located at the head of a valley in the Aorangi Ranges. Don’t be lazy and take the loop running above the Pinnacles. You will be rewarded with amazing views of a turquoise sea.
You can find Cape Palliser and its famous lighthouse at the southernmost point of North Island. In fact, Cape Palliser lies further south than Nelson or Blenheim in South Island.
The settlement in this area is very small and the main income of locals comes from crayfish fishing – yummy!!
Last but not least – Castlepoint. We had to drive a bit further for this jewel, but look at the stunning sunrise photos! Castlepoint lies on the east coast, so you can greet the sun above the ocean. Of course, you have to get up at 5:00. I climbed the rock half blind half asleep and in my flip-flops. Not recommended. You’d look like another silly and inexperienced (let’s leave the nationality out of it) tourist. There is also a lighthouse which I consider more beautiful than the Cape Palliser one. Adventure lovers can also explore a hidden cave/tunnel running under the lighthouse. It is accessible only at low tide, so plan ahead – not like us. Well, another reason to visit Castlepoint again.
Wairarapa region has got a lot to offer and lot to explore. Don’t leave it out of your list. Or you know what? Just leave it to me!