The Wairarapa gets some of the best weather in New Zealand which makes it the perfect region to have a picnic in summer or a sunny winters day! Here are the top 5 hot spots to look out for!
This would have to be my favourite place to have a picnic. In the past, Gladstone Vineyard had a restaurant which is now closed so they have kindly opened their garden up for people to have a picnic. You do not have to pay, but if you want to have alcohol on your picnic you have to buy it from the cellar door and not bring your own. In my opinion, I think that’s a pretty fair trade. They have some very delicious wine here so make sure you do a tasting before you sit down for your lunch and buy a bottle to go with your picnic too! It’s a great place for the whole family as there a little children’s playground and if you go for a little walk you can see the pigs and ducks down towards the lake. There’s also toilet facilities available here too.
Pukaha Mount Bruce
Until recently I never knew they had picnic tables available here for people to use. It’s a great little spot to have a nice lunch amongst the wildlife and Pukaha Mount Bruce is a brilliant place for a day out! At Pukaha you get to witness Kiwis and other native New Zealand birds and animals. It’s also the only place in the country to see the rare white Kiwi Manukura . You could easily spend the whole day here as there is lots of walks and things to see, including feeding the eels and the Kiwi house. Admission costs $20 per adult, $6 per child (5-15 years old) and if your child is under 5 it’s free! You can also buy a family pass for $50. You can find the picnic the spot if you turn left before you go into the main entrance and go around the side. If you get lost just ask one of the friendly staff and they will tell you where the picnic tables are located. They also let us go in and out of the park before and after lunch as long as you have your ticket you will be fine.
Mount Holdsworth is such a beautiful spot in the Wairarapa. You can do multiple walks from short to strenuous around here. There’s actually lots of little spots you can have a picnic, but my favourite would be near the river where there is also BBQs for you to use. You can also camp here and in the summer months it becomes a very popular little spot. If you want a moderate walk to get your heart rate up, I highly recommend walking up to Rocky Lookout which takes 45 minutes to an hour and a half depending how fast you want to go. You get such a beautiful view of the mountains from up here and it will work up your appetite for lunch! I have named it the best hike in the Wairarapa to do!
One of my favourite childhood spots is the cliffs which is located on Dakins road. As a kid, we always used to spend Christmas down here with an abundance of food and drinks. You can also camp and there is BBQs for you to use too. ‘The cliffs’ has to be one of the oldest swimming spots in the Wairarapa in the summer. Not too far from here is also a very delightful vineyard called Johners. They have some of the most amazing wines in the regions so maybe pop in there and grab a bottle of wine to have with your picnic down by the river!
Putangirua Pinnacles Scenic reserve
The beautiful backdrop of the Putangirua pinnacles has to be one of the most spectacular picnic spots around. It’s no wonder that part of the Lord of Rings movies was filmed here. You can also opt to do a short or long hike to get a better view of them. This part of the Wairarapa is really beautiful and definitely worth a day trip. Try and see if you can spot any fossils here too. I remember as a kid going fossil hunting up here, it’s a great activity for the kids! I recommend hiring a batch in Ngawi which is nearby, and then you can really enjoy this spectacular area over a couple of days. In Ngawi, there is the largest seal colony in the North Island. Remember don’t get too close though!
So, there’s a roundup of the best picnic spots in the Wairarapa. Do you know of any great places you would like to share? Leave a comment below!
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