Castlepoint Lighthouse, Wairarapa, New Zealand, at sunrise.

Getty Images/iStockphoto

The Wairarapa

The Wairarapa is the large tract of land east and northeast of Wellington, beyond the Tararua and Rimutaka Ranges. It is named after Wairarapa Moana – otherwise known as Lake Wairarapa, translating as 'sea of glistening waters'. This shallow 80-sq-km lake and the surrounding wetland is the focus of much-needed ecological restoration, redressing generations of livestock grazing. Fields of fluffy sheep still abound, as do vineyards and the associated hospitality that have turned the region into a decadent weekend retreat.


Attractions

Must-see attractions