Top trails in the Wairarapa

Stuck on which trail to explore first in the sunny Wairarapa? Whether you’re up for a light to moderate walk, run or bike ride, the trails below are a must to try.

Rewanui Forest Park

The perfect place to stop and stretch your legs on your way to or from Castlepoint or Riversdale beach (it's only 20mins out of Masterton), Rewanui Forest Park has a range of loop walks to choose from that vary in length and ease.

For a warmup, try Totara Loop then continue to Matai Loop which is the best for variety and surprises but will make you work for it with the terrain being a little steep. Keep an eye out for all the stunning native and exotic plants across the park.

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Rewanui farmland
Rewanui Forest Park
Family walking through Rewanui
Bikers on the Greytown to Woodside Trail
Greytown to Woodside trail through trees
Greytown to Woodside trail during summer

Greytown to Woodside Trail

The Greytown to Woodside Trail is a family-friendly (also buggy-friendly and wheelchair friendly) pathway that connects the quaint Wairarapa township of Greytown to the historic Woodside Railway Station.

As you walk along the wide limestone pathway you will pass an avenue of mature oak trees and have great views of the Tararua Ranges and Gladstone Hills. You can take your dog too, just make sure it is on a leash. This walk will take around one hour and forty minutes. 

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Putangirua Pinnacles Track

Explore the spectacular Putangirua Pinnacles on one of three trails that will take you up close and personal with these spellbinding ancient rock formations. 

Located on the Wairarapa Coastline near Cape Palliser, these large stalagmite structures featured in The Lord of The Rings: The Return of the King. (Hint: You might recall seeing them as Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli rode along the Dimholt Road to meet the Army of the Dead.). This is a must if you are in the Wairarapa!

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The Putangirua Pinnacles Wairarapa
Castlepoint Wairarapa

Castlepoint Lighthouse Walk

Take in breathtaking views over the Wairarapa Coast (and pause to upload your pics to Instagram), fossick for fossil shells on the beach below, and revel in the history of one of the country's last remaining beam lighthouses built in 1913.

You may even unexpectedly encounter a colony of fur seals sunbathing in the reserve. This really is one of the most Instagrammable spots in the region and will only take you 30 minutes to walk there and back.

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Remutaka Cycle Trail

One of New Zealand’s Great Rides, the Remutaka Cycle Trail is one for your bucket list. Starting near the creative and culinary capital, Wellington, travel through Lower Hutt, nestled by the Hutt River, and Upper Hutt, set amongst bush-clad hills.

An old rail trail leads you through the Remutaka Ranges, to the country roads of rural Wairarapa and its boutique vineyards. The final section takes you along the rugged South Coast, where mountains dive into the Pacific Ocean.

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Remutaka Cycle Trail and Hutt River Trail_ people mountain biking
Remutaka Cycle Trail people mountain biking
Remutaka Cycle Trail_people biking and crossing stream at Cape Palliser
Fensham Reserve Carterton family walking on trail
Fensham Reserve
Family at Fensham Reserve lookout

Fensham Reserve

This is one of the best places for a bush walk near Carterton. This 48-hectare native bush reserve is just a few minutes’ drive from Carterton and is a perfect spot for families and joggers. The tracks take you through a variety of terrain: along wetland boardwalks, through native bush and up to a hilltop with views of rolling farmland.

You're likely to spot Tuis, fantails and 500-year-old trees along the way. Make sure you pack a picnic as there are some great spots for a picnic along the way. There is also a picnic table near the second entrance off Upper Belvedere Road.

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