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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 is home to the beautiful Tararua Forest Park, plus charming towns such as Masterton, Carterton, Greytown, Martinborough and Featherston. I have lived in The Wairarapa (Carterton, NZ) for most of my life. One of the best things to do in Wairarapa is go for a walk in one of the forest parks or along the Wairarapa coast. As a local, I wanted to share my two favourite Wairarapa walks you should visit for unbelievable views on a beautiful clear day.
There are so many things to do and see if you are doing a road trip around New Zealand’s North Island. Of course I am biased towards Wairarapa; 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 by how quiet this place is. My two favourite places to head for Wairarapa walks are Mount Dick Lookout and Rocky Lookout. I was fortunate to grow up with these walks as both of them are located near my hometown of Carterton, NZ in the stunning Tararua Forest Park.
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2 Great Wairarapa Walks:
1. 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, NZ. 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 of hours for a 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 Tararua Forest Park 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.
2. Mount Dick
Mount Dick lookout is located just out of Carterton, NZ. Follow Dalefield road towards Tararua Forest Park all the way until you reach a sign which says Kaipaitangata. Here you will find access to Mount Dick Lookout. This is one of the best Wairarapa Walks, but you can drive all the way up to the lookout if you really can’t be bothered and just want the view. If you have time it is nice to walk up and take your time. You should also only drive up if you have a 4 wheel drive.
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, whereas 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 the rest of Tararua Forest Park. It is simply amazing on a nice day. If you squint real hard, you may even glimpse the Wairarapa coast (just kidding, there are too many mountains in the way).
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 to check out one of these great Wairarapa walks! 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 do in Wairarapa, so keep an eye out!
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