Drink and be Merry in Wairarapa
“Hidden beyond the peaks and gorges of New Zealand’s Rimutaka Range lies Wairarapa, a wine region that’s gathered little of the fame of its southern neighbour, the Marlborough area, but that overflows with charm,” Hannah James writes for news.com.au.
“It’s an easy day trip from Wellington – it only takes an hour in the car or on the train – but a far better idea is to make a weekend of it. The small town of Martinborough is at the heart of wine country and makes a good base for weekend wandering,” James says.
“Its quiet streets are handy for regaining your cycling legs if you want to bike around the vineyards. Once out of the town, there are wide roads, open fields and rows of vines stretching into the blue distance to help you shake off the cares of the city – not to mention the wineries.
“Lunch is a no-brainer: Poppies winery is justly famed for its tasting platter brimming with local produce, and its winemaker and namesake Poppy Hammond is a passionate and deeply informed host. The cellar door’s interior has a rustic Provençal feel, but sitting outside under a pergola, among the vines, gives that perfect vineyard experience.
“Next day is for exploring the picturesque towns that stud the area. Greytown is a pretty, perfectly preserved Victorian village; its main street is lined with boutiques, cafes and art galleries.
“A glimpse of the natural majesties New Zealand’s known for is just around the corner: the Waiohine Gorge is breathtaking – quite literally. The nerve-testing suspension bridge marks the start of robust hikes into the Tararua Forest Park, or you can simply stand and marvel at the ice-blue water meeting forested cliffs hundreds of metres below. Wairarapa? Why ever not?”
Original article by Hannah James, News.com.au, May 15, 2016.