Just outside Wellington in the Wairarapa region of the North Island lies the small village of Martinborough. Set amongst rolling green fields and sheep farms it is home to 25 boutique vineyards. Who are world famous for their New Zealand wines, most notably the Pinot Noir variety.
Martinborough makes a great stopover on your North Island Itinerary because of it’s location on the road out of Wellington with access to the Central Plateau, National Parks, Ski areas and Goethermal wonderlands.
Wine Tasting is a must do activity on your trip to New Zealand and there is no shortage of wine regions to visit. Whilst Martinborough may not be as big as the North Island’s Marlborough or Hawke’s Bay; Martinborough has one trump card which beats all the other wine regions of New Zealand, it’s small size.The vineyards surrounding Martinborough are all within walking distance of one another, allowing you a short stroll between tastings, leaving your car behind.
Martinborough Wine Tasting Tour
Martinborough and it’s outlying Vineyards are small and close enough to tour on foot. So get your walking shoes on and enjoy a leisurelly stroll from vineyard to vineyard, tasting these amzing New Zeland Wines. Use my interactive Map to creat your own walking tour;
The Martinborough Hotel
In the heart of Martinborough, on the village square is the elogant and boutique style Martinborough Hotel. With a traditionally styled facede they offer expansive rooms above their dining restaurant with views across the square. The wooden veranda adds to the charm of their “Heritage Suites”.
The Martinborough Hotel is a good base from which to explore on foot the delights of the nearby vineyards. With a restaurant serving good pub food, you’ll be left feeling replenished and ready to tackle the road again on your New Zealand itinerary after this short stop-over.
Book the Martinborough hotel and add this to your North Island Itinerary.
Dining at the Tirohana Estate
One of the oldest Vineyards in Martinborough, the Tirohana Estate offers an elegant fine dining experience. Highly recommended by the Lonely Planet to book in advance for their 3-course fixed price menu, it is quite simply the best dining experience in the Wairarapa Region.
As an open log fire provides the perfect backdrop to this fine dining experience, the impeccable service and creative wine choices to supplement your New Zealand lamb or beef is second to none. The estate even provides you with a free pick-up and drop-off service to take you to and from your comfortable surroundings at the Martinborough Hotel. I cannot recommend this highly enough, book it on your North Island itinerary!
And if the blood red colours of the Pinot Noir grape varieties were not enough today, an impressive and unique Lunar Eclipse coincided with my stay in Martinborough. Watching from the wooden veranda of the Martinborough Hotel, it was a sight to behold!
Where the Wairapa Region tapers at the southern tip of the North Island stands a light house at Cape Palliser, overlooking the frigid waters of the Cook Strait.
As the waves ride in, across the turquoise waters, looking out to the distant horizon you can see the snow capped mountains of the South Island. Beckoning as they do, to invite you on a South Island Itinerary.
As you walk along this rugged coastline keep your eyes out for Seals. They litter the beach here and their colony is the North Island’s largest breeding area.
North Island Itinerary
Fit wine tasting into your North Island itinerary! Read my 2 week North Island itinerary here.