The Wairarapa is a New Zealand gem that most people I know take for granted. It is located in the south-eastern corner of the North Island and features towns such as Masterton, Carterton, Greytown, Martinborough and Featherston. I have lived in the The Wairarapa (Carterton) for most of my life and I wanted to share my two favourite spots you should visit for unbelievable views on a beautiful clear day. There is so much to see so if you are doing a road trip around the North Island you should definitely visit this picturesque place. This region is predominately an agriculture community with a minimal amount of people around and endless greenery, animals and lookouts. If you are from a city you will be shocked as to how quiet this place is. My two favourite places are Mount Dick lookout and Rocky Lookout.
Rocky lookout is part of Mt Holdsworth in the Tararua Forest Park located on Norfolk road, about 15-20 minutes out of Masterton. There are loads of tracks you can walk throughout this forest so depending on your fitness ability and how long you want to walk, all of them are incredible and give you great views. They can vary from a couple for hours return trip or you can do the longer treks which will take a couple of days and you can stay in the huts located at the top. There is also a campsite located at the bottom of the forest before all of the treks with great facilities and in a beautiful setting. If you want to head to Rocky Lookout you just follow the general path and then you will come to a sign which leads two ways – pick Rocky Lookout! It takes around 45-60 minutes each way. I suggest taking your lunch up there if it is a nice day and sitting in the sun, enjoying the views. Make sure you bring your camera and a large water bottle.
Mount Dick lookout is located just out of Carterton. Follow Dalefield road all the way until you reach a sign which says Kaipaitangata (access to Mount Dick lookout). You can drive all the way up to the lookout if you really can’t be bothered otherwise it is nice to walk up and take your time. You should only drive up if you have a 4 wheel drive though. It took me just over an hour each way (walking) and in my opinion it was mentally harder than Rocky Lookout because it feels like you are walking forever, where as Rocky Lookout is a windy path with different scenery at each corner. Once you reach the top you are spoilt with views of the Wairarapa and it is simply amazing on a nice day.
This district is only an hours drive from Wellington so if you are having a week or so in Wellington make sure you come over the hill and visit the Wairarapa for a few days. I will be writing a few more posts on different parts of this region in the future because there is a load of things to see, so keep an eye out! If you need accommodation then check out Booking.com and Agoda, I highly recommend them.
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