Wairarapa Wandering

Wairarapa Wandering

7 day small group Wairarapa tour

Our Wairarapa Wandering tour has a stay-put holiday feeling with three nights out in the Martinborough countryside at Brackenridge Country Retreat. On the way south we stay in Napier. From Martinborough we explore the Wairarapa coastline out to Cape Palliser lighthouse and Ngawi fishing village. Visit Greytown, where the boutique shops are tempting, and stunning gardens. Stay at the 5 star Bolton Hotel in the heart of Wellington, visit Te Papa and enjoy three private lunches along the way.

WHAT TRACY LOVES ABOUT THIS TOUR: I love this tour’s stay-put holiday feel with three nights to relax and enjoy Brackenridge Estate in the Martinborough countryside. The coastline out to Cape Palliser lighthouse is like nowhere else and you have to see the most incongruous sight in the Wairarapa, Stonehenge Aotearoa, sitting in a farm paddock.

  • $3,690 (NZD) pp twin
  • $4,290 (NZD) pp single

Day 1

Auckland - Taupo - Napier

We depart Auckland driving into the heart of the Waikato farmland. We lunch at Lava Glass Cafe and visit Lynden Over’s glass blowing studio and enchanting sculpture garden. We continue to Taupo with views across Lake Taupo to the three active volcanoes – Tongariro, Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu.

We travel over the rugged ranges to the Hawke’s Bay known as New Zealand’s food basket – orchards, vineyards and market gardens abound. We check into Scenic Te Pania Hotel on the waterfront and dine in the hotel.

  • Lynden Over’s inspired glass art, sculpture garden and studio
  • Relax in your seaview room at Te Pania Hotel in Napier

Accommodation

MoaTours Accommodation - Scenic Te Pania, Napier

Napier - Scenic Hotel Te Pania

Another great location, but only the best will do at MoaTours! Just a short walk from the heart of the Art Deco precinct, Te Pania is modern, has everything you need right at hand and is our favourite place to stay in town. 

What we love about Te Pania – You can’t beat those Pacific views, if you’re an early bird, watch the sunrise over the ocean from your room.

Day 2

Napier - Havelock - Pukaha National Wildlife Centre - Martinborough

This morning a specialist Art Deco guide boards our coach to tell the stories of the 1931 earthquake. We drive to the pretty, English style village of Havelock North before heading south to the farming towns of Waipukurau, Norsewood and Dannevirke.

We meet our guide at Pukaha National Wildlife Centre and see the Kaka at feeding time, also Kiwi, Kokako, Takahe and Tuatara, a “living fossil”. In the late afternoon we reach Martinborough and nearby is our home for three nights, Brackenridge Country Retreat.

  • Explore the sights with a private guide on an Art Deco tour of Napier
  • Watch the antics of the Kaka at feeding time at Pukaha National Wildlife Centre 

Accommodation

Views of Brackenridge Estate in Wairarapa

MARTINBOROUGH - BRACKENRIDGE COUNTRY RETREAT & SPA

Brackenridge is located on 14 acres of beautiful Wairarapa countryside, offering you the complete country experience. Onsite amenities include a 20m heated salt water lap pool and a gym. The tranquil setting, not far from Martinborough, means you have the perfect base to experience the Wairarapa. 

What we love about Brackenridge Country Retreat & Spa – This exclusive Wairarapa retreat has a sense of peace and tranquility.

Day 3

Wairarapa sightseeing - Cape Palliser - Lake Ferry - Martinborough

We drive out to dramatic Cape Palliser Lighthouse stopping for photos at Ngawi, a quaint fishing village. At this southernmost tip of the North Island we are able to get close-up to the breeding seal colony lounging around on the rocks and frolicing in the sea.

We return along the coastal road to lunch at the classic Lake Ferry Pub and later check out Martinborough village and a vineyard. There’s time to refresh in the indoor swimming pool at Brackenridge. 

  • Visit remote Cape Palliser
  • Enjoy a private wine tasting at a Martinborough Vineyard

Accommodation

Views of Brackenridge Estate in Wairarapa

MARTINBOROUGH - BRACKENRIDGE COUNTRY RETREAT & SPA

Brackenridge is located on 14 acres of beautiful Wairarapa countryside, offering you the complete country experience. Onsite amenities include a 20m heated salt water lap pool and a gym. The tranquil setting, not far from Martinborough, means you have the perfect base to experience the Wairarapa. 

What we love about Brackenridge Country Retreat & Spa – This exclusive Wairarapa retreat has a sense of peace and tranquility.

Day 4

Martinborough - Stonehenge Aotearoa - Longbush Cottage - Greytown

At Stonehenge Aotearoa, built by the NZ Astronomical Society, we learn how early cultures used the sun, moon and stars for survival. Rising out of farm paddocks, this full scale working adaption of the original Stonehenge has to be seen to be believed.

Out in the countryside, we lunch with Luke Gardiner at Longbush Cottage which features a series of garden rooms. 

After lunch, we meet Ed Cooke and his son Wendell who are harvesting apples at Molewood Orchard. Nearby we call into arty Greytown with its antique, craft and gift shops.

We dine at Brackenridge this evening.

  • Stonehenge Aotearoa combines modern scientific knowledge with Maori star lore
  • Lunch at Longbush Cottage Garden with Luke Gardiner

Accommodation

Views of Brackenridge Estate in Wairarapa

MARTINBOROUGH - BRACKENRIDGE COUNTRY RETREAT & SPA

Brackenridge is located on 14 acres of beautiful Wairarapa countryside, offering you the complete country experience. Onsite amenities include a 20m heated salt water lap pool and a gym. The tranquil setting, not far from Martinborough, means you have the perfect base to experience the Wairarapa. 

What we love about Brackenridge Country Retreat & Spa – This exclusive Wairarapa retreat has a sense of peace and tranquility.

Day 5

Martinborough - Fell Engine Museum, Featherston - Wellington

For a piece of local history we visit a Featherstion museum where the only Fell Engine in the world has been restored to its former glory days of working on the Remutaka Incline. Then we drive over the winding Remutaka Range road to lunch at historic Thistle Inn in Wellington.

We visit Te Papa, New Zealand’s National Museum on the Wellington waterfront, and other local museums and galleries and drive up Mt Victoria to admire the views, and continue our sightseeing around the harbour. We stay the night and dine in at the Bolton Hotel.

  • In Featherston see the last Fell Engine in the world
  • Explore the exhibits and displays of Te Papa National Museum

Accommodation

Wellington, The Bolton Hotel

Wellington - The Bolton Hotel

You’ve got to be in the heart of it in ‘the coolest little capital in the world’, and this is it. Walk absolutely everywhere from the 5 Star Bolton Hotel.

What we love about the Bolton – It’s easy to forget you’re in the nation’s capital with friendly staff like the team at the Bolton, a real boutique home away from home in the heart of the city.

Day 6

Wellington - Foxton - Mairenui Farm, Mangaweka - Taupo

Travelling north from Wellington there are lovely sea views along the Kapiti Coast before the highway heads into the farmlands. In Foxton, de Molen, a full size 17th century replica windmill, takes pride of place. We lunch with Sue and David Sweet at Mairenui Farm, near Mangaweka and enjoy their warm country hospitality.

Leaving Mairenui we head north up the Desert Road with views of Mount Ruapehu at 2,797 metres the North Island’s highest mountain. We arrive at the Millennium Hotel and Resort Manuels on Lake Taupo and dine in this evening.

  • Mairenui Farm hosts our private lunch
  • At the Millennium Hotel Manuels enjoy the views of Lake Taupo

Accommodation

Taupo Millennium Hotel and Resort

Taupo - Millennium Hotel and Resort Manuels

Boasting a spellbinding lake edge location, this welcoming Taupo Hotel and Resort presents you with uninterrupted views of the magnificent lake and mountains from guest rooms, restaurants and bar areas. 

What we love about Millennium Hotel and Resort Manuels – Artfully decorated to create an air of glamorous elegance and with a heated swimming pool, private grotto plunge pool and sauna this is a relaxing and stylish location to spend time on tour.

Day 7

Taupo - Huka Falls - Te Awamutu - The Sculpture Park - Auckland

We enjoy a leisurely start this morning with time to stroll the lakefront and check out Taupo. There’s also a pathway along the riverbank to Huka Falls – it’s always a spectacular sight to see the Waikato River thundering through the narrow chasm. 

Then we continue northwards through the Waikato farmlands to lunch in a special oasis, the Sculpture Park in the Waitakaruru Arboretum. Stroll the nature and art trails before returning to Auckland in the late afternoon.

Thank you for choosing to tour the Wairarapa with MoaTours.

  • Visit spectacular Huka Falls
  • Stroll the Sculpture Park’s nature and art trails at Waitakaruru Arboretum

Next departures

Tour DatePrice (from)Availability
28 Apr 2025 - 04 May 2025
$3,690 (NZD)
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12 May 2025 - 18 May 2025
$3,690 (NZD)
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Please contact us if you have any questions about our tour departure dates.

Tour DatePrice (from)Availability
28 Apr 2025 - 04 May 2025
$3,690 (NZD)
Filling up
Enquire
12 May 2025 - 18 May 2025
$3,690 (NZD)
Filling up
Enquire
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