The prettiest of several small towns along SH2, Greytown (Te Hupenui) is home to a permanent population of urbane locals and waves of Wellington weekenders. It was the country’s first planned inland town: intact Victorian buildings line the main street with interesting historic plaques on many of them (pick up the Historic Greytown brochure for a handy map). Within the old buildings you'll find accommodation, cafes, restaurants and some swanky shopping.
In 1890 Greytown became the first town in NZ to celebrate Arbor Day, bequeathing it a legacy of magnificent mature trees. The mountain ash in the grounds of St Luke's Anglican Church is the last survivor of three saplings that mysteriously sprouted after being stolen in 1856 from a delivery carted by hand, over the Rimutakas. Greytown's other historic claim to fame was as the site of a Māori Parliament that held two sessions at nearby Pāpāwai Marae in the 1890s.