5 Perfect Places To Have A Picnic In The Wairarapa, NZ

Last Updated on December 11, 2022


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The Wairarapa gets some of the best weather in New Zealand which makes it the perfect region to have a picnic in summer or a sunny winter’s day!

A picnic in the Wairarapa is the perfect way to break up your day during a Wairarapa walk and take in the region’s beauty.

Enjoy a picnic in the Wairarapa, person in sunglasses climbing rocks in front of a wide open landscape of rolling hills and mountains covered in lush green shrubs and foliage with fluffy white clouds rolling through a bright blue sky

Just an hour’s drive from Wellington, a picnic in the Wairarapa is the perfect afternoon getaway with family or a loved one.

In fact, many consider a day trip here for a walk and food one of the top Wellington must-dos for visitors!

And a picnic in the Wairarapa is definitely one of the best things to do in the Wairarapa.

🧳 MUST-HAVE: Before you head out on your trip, make sure you have travel insurance. I recommend either SafetyWing or World Nomads.

In the center of most of these Wairarapa picnic sites is the town of Masterton, NZ, which is the largest town in the region.

Be sure to take some time to check out all the fun things to do in Masterton while you’re here!

Top 5 places to have a picnic in the Wairarapa

Find your new favourite things to do in the Wairarapa, four people holding glasses of wine and toasting at the camera while sitting at an outdoor picnic table covered with a patterned blue and white tablecloth

1. Gladstone Vineyard

This would have to be my favourite place to have a picnic in the Wairarapa.

In the past, Gladstone Vineyard had a restaurant which is now closed so they have kindly opened their garden up for people to have a picnic.

You do not have to pay, but if you want to have alcohol on your picnic you have to buy it from the cellar door and not bring your own.

In my opinion, I think that’s a pretty fair trade. They have some very delicious wine here so make sure you do a tasting before you sit down for your lunch and buy a bottle to go with your picnic too!

It’s a great place for the whole family as there is a little children’s playground and if you go for a little walk you can see the pigs and ducks down towards the lake.

There are also toilet facilities available here too.

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Enjoy a Wairarapa walk after your Wairarapa picnic, brown feathered bird with clawed feet and red legs sitting on an outdoor wooden picnic table with green trees and shrubs behind

2. Pukaha Mount Bruce

Until recently I never knew they had picnic tables available here for people to use.

It’s a great little spot to have a nice lunch amongst the wildlife and Pukaha Mount Bruce is a brilliant place for a day out!

At Pukaha you get to witness Kiwis and other native New Zealand birds and animals. It’s also the only place in the country to see the rare white Kiwi Manukura.

You could easily spend the whole day here as there are lots of Wairarapa walks and things to see, including feeding the eels and the Kiwi house.

Admission costs $20 per adult, $6 per child (5-15 years old) and if your child is under 5 it’s free! You can also buy a family pass for $50.

You can find the picnic the spot if you turn left before you go into the main entrance and go around the side.

If you get lost just ask one of the friendly staff and they will tell you where the picnic tables are located.

They also let us go in and out of the park before and after lunch as long as you have your ticket you will be fine.

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Take part in these things to do in Wairarapa, New Zealand, person smiling and kneeling by their black and white dog on a balcony built into the side of a hill looking out across a majestic landscape of rolling hills and mountains covered in lush green trees stretching off into the mist under an impressive cloudy grey sky

3. Mount Holdsworth

Mount Holdsworth is such a beautiful spot for a picnic in the Wairarapa. You can do multiple walks from short to strenuous around here.

There’s actually lots of little spots you can have a picnic, but my favourite would be near the river where there’s also BBQs for you to use.

You can also camp here and in the summer months it becomes a very popular little spot.

If you want a moderate walk to get your heart rate up, I highly recommend walking up to Rocky Lookout which takes 45 minutes to an hour and a half depending how fast you want to go.

You get such a beautiful view of the mountains from up here and it will work up your appetite for lunch! I have named it the best hike in the Wairarapa to do!

🛌🏼 Check out the accommodation in the Wairarapa

Discover the joy of picnicking in the Wairarapa NZ, closeup shot of Johner brand bottle of Pinot Noir wine, vintage 2014 sat on a wooden table

4. The Cliff

One of my favourite childhood spots is the cliffs which is located on Dakins road. As a kid, we always used to spend Christmas down here with an abundance of food and drinks.

You can also camp and there is BBQs for you to use too. ‘The cliffs’ has to be one of the oldest swimming spots in the Wairarapa in the summer.

Not too far from here is also a very delightful vineyard called Johners, which is one of the best things to do in Wairarapa for adults.

They have some of the most amazing wines in the regions so maybe pop in there and grab a bottle of wine to have with your picnic down by the river!

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Explore the wonder of the Pinnacles Wairarapa NZ, gravel paths leading around a rocky outcrop next to areas of lush green grass and small bushes with the sea visible in the distance under a cloudy grey sky
The Pinnacles, Wairarapa NZ

5. Putangirua Pinnacles Scenic reserve

The beautiful backdrop of the Putangirua pinnacles has to be one of the most spectacular Wairarapa picnic spots around.

It’s no wonder that part of the Lord of Rings movies was filmed here. You can also opt to do a short or long hike to get a better view of them.

This part of the Wairarapa is really beautiful and definitely worth a day trip. Try and see if you can spot any fossils here too.

I remember as a kid going fossil hunting along the Pinnacles, Wairarapa. It’s a great activity for the kids!

I recommend hiring a batch in Ngawi which is nearby, and then you can really enjoy this spectacular area over a couple of days.

In Ngawi, there is the largest seal colony in the North Island. Remember don’t get too close though!

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Frequently Asked Questions

✅ Where is Wairarapa NZ?

The Wairarapa is located in the south-eastern corner of the North Island of New Zealand. It is an hour’s drive east of Wellington.

✅ Is Wairarapa in Masterton?

No, the opposite actually. Masterton is in the Wairarapa, and is the largest town in the region. Masterton is worth spending some time and exploring if you can.

So, there’s a roundup of the best spots to have a picnic in the Wairarapa, NZ. Do you know of any great places you would like to share? Leave a comment below!


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