Masterton — Martinborough and Lake Wairarapa (4-6 hours, 67km)
SERVICES & ACCOMMODATION
There is B&B accommodation at Gartylough B&B, 139 Colombo Road, Masterton and a selection en route, just out of Masterton.
A quiet rural aspect in Homebush can be had at either The Landing or neighbouring Mas des Saule with the latter having a unique gypsy caravan riverside camping option.
• The Landing at Homebush – 35b Pokohiwi Road, Homebush
• Mas des Saule – 35a Pokohiwi Road, Homebush
Also nearby are:
• Ever Rest – 1 Homebush Road, Homebush
• Tree-Hut Cottage – 221 Lees Pakaraka Road, Homebush
• Te Whiti Homestead – Te Whiti Road, Masterton
The closest wine tastings can be had at Paulownia Vineyard at 234b Manaia Road. Do call ahead.
In Gladstone there is accommodation at Woodlands Farm Cottage, 246 Tiffin Road and up-market lodge style accommodation at Summit Lodge, 4 Admiral Road, Gladstone.
A cold beer and wine tastings needs a diversion down Gladstone Road to the Gladstone Inn, a country pub, and superb wines at Gladstone Vineyard and Fairmont Estate.
Coming in to Martinborough there are three olive groves worth checking out:
• Olivo – 2826 Hinakura Road, Martinborough
• Arrabon Olives – 70 Cromarty Drive, Martinborough
• Molive Gold – 101 Cromarty Drive, Martinborough
Martinborough has a large selection of accommodation, restaurants and vineyards all close to the centre of town.
Heading south from Martinborough, a diversion to Lake Ferry on the coast is a must and will probably mean you stay the night. Accommodation options are at:
• Ferry Road Cottage
• Lake Ferry Hotel
• Gateway Motel & Holiday Park
Back on the main route there is rural accommodation at Lacewood & Tuhitarata Estate, 2111 Kahutara Road.
On the East West Access Road, Waituna has a range of B&B and self contained cottage accommodation.
Heading back up to Featherston on Western Lake Road, historic Waiorongomai has wonderfully refurbished cottages and the homestead available for accommodation.
Or heading south there is accommodation in old rail carriages at Te Rakau where you can also take bird watching tours. For the ultimate in accommodation and a total break from the saddle, Wharekauhau Country Estate is the height of luxury.
There is accommodation available in Featherston.
Activities in Masterton:
• Genesis Recreation Centre – indoor pools and gymnasium
• The Wool Shed – historic story telling of the Wairarapa’s shearing heritage
• Aratoi Museum of Art & History – a modern gallery with touring exhibits
• Regent 3 Cinemas – for the latest movie releases
• Hedley’s Books – a traditional old style book store
Activities in Martinborough:
• Superb Touch Massage – what you need after a long ride
• Martinborough Wine Centre – try all the region’s wines in one place
• Pedal around the vineyards – dozens of world class wines within easy riding walking distance
Activities in Featherston:
• The Fell Locomotive Museum – tells the stories of the engineering marvel of the Wellington Wairarapa train which crossed the Rimutaka Ranges.
Restaurants in central Masterton:
• 10 O’Clock Cookie Bakery – an award winning bakery of fine cakes and pastries
• Cecile in the Park – an excellent restaurant in the middle of Queen Elizabeth Park
• Entice – a very popular cafe adjoining the art gallery and looking across to Queen Elizabeth Park
Restaurants in Gladstone:
A diversion from the route at Gladstone will take you to the locally famous Gladstone Inn (The Gladdy) where excellent pub lunches can be had. A bit further along is the Gladstone Vineyard and restaurant.
Restaurants in Martinborough:
• Martinborough Hotel Bar & Grill – excellent pub or restaurant meals in the historic hotel
• Cafe Medici – great cafe food in central Martinborough
• Micro Bar – a tiny wee bar doing great tapas style meals
• Bloom – south of Martinborough at Murdoch James Estate
Restaurants at Lake Ferry:
A diversion to the coast for a fish and chip lunch at the Lake Ferry Hotel is a must.
RIDING THE TRAIL
From the main street in Masterton, cycle east on Church Street. Turn right onto Colombo Street. Then turn left onto Johnstone Street. Johnstone soon becomes Te Whiti Road and heads to Martinborough via the small settlement of Gladstone.
Martinborough is almost 50km from Masterton.
Highway 53 from Martinborough to Featherston is not recommended as it can be busy, and there is a long narrow bridge across the Ruamahanga River, 2 km out of Martinborough. Note: This long bridge does not meet New Zealand Cycle Trail safety criteria.
A safer alternative is to ride southwest out of Martinborough on Jellicoe Street. This becomes Lake Ferry Road. After 18.7km, turn right onto Kahutara Road. After another 2km, turn left onto East West Access Road. About 34km from Martinborough, you will reach a T-intersection with Western Lake Road. Turn left to ride around the coast to Orongorongo Station, or turn right to ride to the Hutt Valley via the Rimutaka Rail Trail or to meet the Wairarapa train at Featherston.
Acknowledgment: The information above is from Classic New Zealand Cycle Trails by the Kennett Brothers.