Martinborough Travel Guide

A comprehensive travel guide to Martinborough, including its culture, nature, outdoor activities, food and drink scenes, transportation options, and nearby excursions.

Introduction to Martinborough

Martinborough is a picturesque town located in the Wairarapa region of New Zealand’s North Island, approximately 80 km (50 miles) east of Wellington. Famous for its wineries and charming colonial architecture, the town is a popular weekend destination for locals and tourists alike.

Martinborough has a population of around 1,300 people and covers an area of 5.3 square kilometers (2 square miles). The town’s compact size and laid-back atmosphere make it an ideal location for those who are looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

List of Places to Visit in Martinborough

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

One of the most popular museums in Martinborough is the Fell Locomotive Museum. The museum features a fascinating collection of railway artifacts, including steam locomotives, antique railway carriages, and other related items. Another museum worth visiting is the Wairarapa Archive, which has a vast collection of documents and photographs that provide insights into the region’s history.

Natural Attractions of Martinborough: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

The town is surrounded by beautiful countryside, which makes it an excellent location for outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, and horseback riding. The most popular hiking trail in the area is the Martinborough Gourmet Wine Walk, which takes visitors on a guided walk through the vineyards and olive groves of the region. The walk includes stops at several wineries, where visitors can sample some of the region’s finest wines. Another attraction worth visiting is the Pukaha Mount Bruce Wildlife Centre, a sanctuary for native birds and wildlife.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Martinborough

Martinborough is a fantastic destination if you’re looking for hiking and biking opportunities in the region. The area is home to several scenic trails, including the Wellington Wine Country cycle trail, which runs through the Wairarapa and Wellington regions. The Rimutaka Cycle Trail is another excellent option, featuring stunning views of the Rimutaka Range and the Hutt Valley.

Best Things to Do in Martinborough: Activities and Tours

Apart from wineries and outdoor activities, Martinborough offers a range of other must-do activities and tours. One of the most popular tours is the Martinborough Wine Tour, which takes visitors on a guided tour of the town’s finest wineries. Another recommended experience is the Olivo Olive Oil Tour, where visitors can learn about the production of olive oil and sample different varieties of this delicious product.

Week-Long Itinerary for Martinborough

Day 1: Visit the Fell Locomotive Museum and the Wairarapa Archive. Take a guided tour of one of the region’s finest vineyards. Day 2: Go hiking in the Rimutaka Forest Park and visit the Pukaha Mount Bruce Wildlife Centre. Day 3: Take a guided walk through the Martinborough Gourmet Wine Walk and sample some of the region’s finest wines. Day 4: Explore the town’s charming colonial architecture and try out some of the local delicacies. Day 5: Go on a scenic drive through the Wairarapa countryside and stop at some of the region’s best lookout points. Day 6: Take a guided tour of the Olivo Olive Oil factory and sample different varieties of olive oil. Day 7: Go horseback riding through the countryside and enjoy the serene scenery.

Food and Drink Scene of Martinborough

Must-Try Dishes

Martinborough is renowned for its food and wine scene. There are several must-try dishes that visitors should sample during their visit. Pinot noir is the region’s most well-known wine, which matches perfectly with the locally produced lamb and beef dishes. Other local specialties include game meats, such as wild venison and duck, which pair well with the region’s bold and full-bodied red wines.

Local Beverages

The region is home to several wineries and vineyards, which produce some of the best wines in the country. Visitors can enjoy wine tastings, vineyard tours, and sample some of the region’s finest varieties of wine. Martinborough also has several craft breweries, which produce a range of unique and delicious beers.

Where to Stay in Martinborough: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

There are several accommodation options available in Martinborough, including hotels, hostels, and guesthouses. The town has a range of accommodation options suitable for all budgets. Some of the recommended places to stay in Martinborough include Martinborough Hotel, Peppers Parehua Martinborough, and The Claremont Motel.

What to Buy in Martinborough: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

Martinborough is known for producing high-quality wine and olive oil, so these make excellent souvenirs to bring home. Visitors can also purchase other locally produced products such as honey, woolen products, and pottery.

Local Culture and Customs of Martinborough

Martinborough is a friendly and welcoming town, where the locals take pride in their community. Visitors can expect to encounter a relaxed and laid-back atmosphere during their visit. It is worth noting that New Zealand has a strong cultural heritage, and visitors should show respect for the country’s customs and traditions.

Best Time to Visit Martinborough

The best time to visit Martinborough is during the autumn and winter seasons (March to August), when the vineyards are in full bloom and the wines are at their best. The region can be extremely busy during the peak summer season (December to February), and accommodation can be hard to find during this time.

Do’s and Don’ts of Martinborough


  • Do explore the town’s charming colonial architecture and cultural heritage sites.
  • Do try out some of the local specialties such as lamb and beef dishes paired with Martinborough’s famous wine.
  • Do respect the local customs and traditions during your visit.


  • Don’t litter or damage the natural environment during your stay.
  • Don’t make excessive noise or disturb the peace of the town.
  • Don’t be disrespectful towards the locals or fellow visitors.

Safety and Health

Safety in Martinborough

Martinborough is a safe and friendly town to visit, although visitors should still exercise caution and take appropriate safety measures. Visitors should be aware of their surroundings and take care when exploring natural areas such as the countryside and forests.

Health in Martinborough

New Zealand has excellent healthcare facilities, and visitors should have no trouble receiving medical treatment if needed. It is advisable to take out comprehensive health insurance before traveling to the country.

Getting to Martinborough: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Martinborough

The nearest airport to Martinborough is Wellington Airport, which is approximately 90 km (56 miles) away. From the airport, visitors can hire a car, take a shuttle, or book a taxi to reach Martinborough.

Bus Stations Near Martinborough

There are several bus services that operate from Wellington to Martinborough, including Tranzit and Metlink. Visitors can also take a bus from other major cities in the region, such as Masterton and Palmerston North.

Other Options

Visitors can also hire a car and drive to Martinborough themselves. The town is easily accessible by car, and there are several rental companies located in Wellington.

How to Get Around in Martinborough

The town’s compact size means that it is easy to get around on foot or by bike. Visitors can also hire a car or take a taxi to explore the surrounding countryside and vineyards.

Where to Go Next from Martinborough: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

There are several nearby destinations and excursions that visitors can enjoy after visiting Martinborough. These include the nearby towns of Featherston and Greytown, which are known for their charming colonial architecture. The Martinborough to Sea Bike Trail and the Castlepoint Scenic Reserve are also popular destinations for outdoor enthusiasts.


Martinborough is a charming and welcoming town that offers visitors a unique insight into New Zealand’s colonial history and wine culture. With its picturesque vineyards, excellent food and drink scene, and stunning natural landscapes, Martinborough is a must-visit destination for anyone visiting the North Island.