An interesting way to see the hidden local spots in the Wairarapa, NZ

An interesting way to see the hidden local spots in the Wairarapa, NZ

The best way to see a region in any country of the world is to complete a tour from a local’s perspective.  I have spent a majority of my life in the Wairarapa, but after doing the ‘To the coast with the post’ tour with Gordon, I realised I still have so much more to learn and discover about this underrated district in New Zealand. 

An interesting way to see the hidden local spots in the Wairarapa, NZ

I was overjoyed when I was invited to come along with Gordon (the rural delivery postman) and spend the day driving around the Wairarapa and delivering mail on the way.  The beauty of doing a tour with the postman is you get to see several places, which usually cannot be accessed by the public.  Gordon has been doing the mail run since 2004.  Only a few years ago, he decided to incorporate the tour into his day job to give people a chance to explore the Wairarapa from a local’s point of view.  I was so excited to be able to come along, learn a bit more history about the Wairarapa and also just enjoy the journey and see some new sights.

 

The Highlights

An interesting way to see the hidden local spots in the Wairarapa, NZ An interesting way to see the hidden local spots in the Wairarapa, NZ

Exploring the historic Burnside Church.  Our first stop was to visit the Burnside Church, which is located in Pirinoa.  It sits in the middle of nowhere and as an interior design lover, this was definitely a highlight for me.  Built in the 1800’s, it can seat about 60 people and is such a quaint little church with lots of character!

An interesting way to see the hidden local spots in the Wairarapa, NZ An interesting way to see the hidden local spots in the Wairarapa, NZ

Seeing hard-to-reach farmland.  Being raised on a sheep farm in Carterton I love getting out in the middle of nowhere.  To be able to see the local farms and beautiful estates that I would have normally never been able to see was fantastic.  The views were stunning and we got to meet a few of the locals on the way.

An interesting way to see the hidden local spots in the Wairarapa, NZ An interesting way to see the hidden local spots in the Wairarapa, NZ

Feeding the emus and curious sheep.  Near the start of the tour, we stopped off at one of the local farms that have a couple of emus and a few curious sheep too.  Gordon brought along apples so we could feed them, something I have never done before.  They are such interesting creatures!

An interesting way to see the hidden local spots in the Wairarapa, NZ An interesting way to see the hidden local spots in the Wairarapa, NZ

See the house on the edge in Ngawi.  One really cool hidden location that I never knew about was along the coastline a few km’s from the centre of the fishing village Ngawi.  There is a house sitting half on the cliff and the other half overhanging the beach.  It’s a perfect place to take some unique photographs.  On the way, Gordon showed us a gigantic whalebone he found!  I knew whales were big, but wow, this piece of jaw bone was enormous.

An interesting way to see the hidden local spots in the Wairarapa, NZ An interesting way to see the hidden local spots in the Wairarapa, NZ An interesting way to see the hidden local spots in the Wairarapa, NZ

Having lunch amongst the seals.  Gordon kindly packed snacks for us on the way, but also a fantastic delicious lunch including sandwiches, muffins, and a hot drink.  One of the top highlights was being able to have lunch amongst the seals.  Ngawi has the largest colony of seals on the North Island so to have lunch listening to them bark at each other and bask in the sun was a cool experience!

An interesting way to see the hidden local spots in the Wairarapa, NZ An interesting way to see the hidden local spots in the Wairarapa, NZ An interesting way to see the hidden local spots in the Wairarapa, NZ An interesting way to see the hidden local spots in the Wairarapa, NZ

Walking up the Palliser lighthouse.  This is one of my favourite places in the Wairarapa.  The view from the top of the lighthouse is fantastic.  It is 250 steps, but if you can make it up the steep stairs, then it’s totally worth it once you reach the top.  Cape Palliser is the Southernmost point of the North Island and on a good day, you can see the South Island from there!

An interesting way to see the hidden local spots in the Wairarapa, NZ An interesting way to see the hidden local spots in the Wairarapa, NZ

There were so many other highlights from Gordon’s tour I could talk about it all day!  If you would like to experience this tour for yourself, then make sure you check out his website to get his contact information.  This tour costs $85 (NZD) each with a maximum of 3 people being allowed on the tour.  It starts at 8am when you meet Gordon at a local café in Featherston, and he drops you back at around 4pm at the same spot.  To see a different side of the beautiful Wairarapa region make sure you check this tour off your bucket list.

A big thank you to Wairarapa Tourism for setting up this tour and thank you also to Gordon for having me!  If you have any questions, contact Gordon or leave it down below.

Need accommodation in the Wairarapa?  I highly suggest you take a look at Agoda or Hotels.com. I highly recommend them!

 

An interesting way to see the hidden local spots in the Wairarapa, NZ

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14 Comments

  1. August 17, 2016 / 12:29 am

    Haha so random, genuis idea Gordon. Posties are the best.

    That hanging house was so scary to walk inside 🙂

  2. carmen Harrison
    August 18, 2016 / 10:13 am

    What about Pirinoa Country Store ltd
    most southern store in nz established 1882
    old fashioned rural store with postal center fruit veges general groceries fish tackle bait ice
    petrol diesel first aid centre local knowledge everyone stops there on the way out the coast but never a mention we need our rural store its very important to us all

  3. August 20, 2016 / 11:11 pm

    Love the photos! A postman giving a tour has to be one of the most original ideas for a tour guide!

  4. August 20, 2016 / 11:35 pm

    What an amazing idea for a tour! I’m going to New Zealand next year and have added this to my bucket list- without you I wouldn’t know about this at all!

    It looks like you had a great time and you got fantastic pictures, especially of the wildlife!

  5. August 21, 2016 / 12:54 am

    Cool tour, what a great idea Gordon had by offering the tours as he delivers the mail. It must have been interesting to discover new things in an area that you have lived in for years. The whale bone and the seals would have fascinated my son and made for some great photos.

  6. August 21, 2016 / 1:17 am

    Must look up Gordon soon when I go visit NZ again! Wairarapa is sure is lovely and I would love to get to meet those seals!

  7. August 21, 2016 / 6:31 am

    What a bargain – looks like an amazing tour. I think having lunch with the seals would be the highlight for me. The NZ wilderness is breathtaking isnt it

  8. August 22, 2016 / 2:19 am

    This looks like a fabulous way to see the local scenes. The lighthouse looks fab too especially as I have a penchant for high things!

  9. August 22, 2016 / 2:25 pm

    What a cool and creative concept! I’ve never heard of a tour like this, good job Gordon! It really looks like a lot of fun too. And those seals are so cute!!

  10. August 22, 2016 / 7:30 pm

    I would have to agree that exploring a place with a local is the best way to experience it. There’s nothing like getting to know the locals itself, but to know the hidden gems and to learn personal stories of them within the city makes it even more incredible.

  11. August 23, 2016 / 5:56 am

    New Zealand looks amazing. We were suppose to visit/work in NZ this year but unfortunately the plan was cancelled 🙁 But one day I’ll get a chance to see this beautiful country!

    • September 6, 2016 / 5:29 am

      Oh that’s a shame! One day you will get there 🙂

  12. August 24, 2016 / 10:37 am

    Tour with a postman is a genius idea. I love this quirky way of seeing the area. Seals and packed lunch as well as a scary house overhanging a cliff. Perfect day and great photos. I love local experiences so this is perfect

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