Things To Do 

 

If you're making a weekend of it, or longer, Featherston and the wider environs of South Wairarapa have some great things to do.

C'est Cheese

This artisan deli in Featherston’s main street specialises in terrific New Zealand-made cheeses, with more than 150 cheeses in stock you’ll be spoilt for choice. There is something for every set of taste buds: from cumin-flecked gouda to French-style blues. Among our local Wairarapa cheeses ask about Kingsmeade Artisan Cheese from Masterton and Cwmglyn (pronounced Coom-glin) farmhouse cheese from Eketahuna. C’est Cheese also offers a selection of New Zealand salamis and exquisite local olive oil.  The perfect stop before a picnic.

Mr Feather's Den

Next door to C’est Cheese, Sue Ryan runs this curiously delightful shop, packed to the brim with local and imported sweet treats. You'll find liquorice, candies, chocolates and every possible sweet combination you can think of. Browse an impressive range of vintage cookware and pick up everything you might need to preserve and pickle your own delicious fare.

The Country Cooking School - Lavender's Green

Book yourself in for a cooking class with the lovely Mary Biggs at Te Puhi farm, three minutes drive from the heart of Featherston.   Classes typically start at 9.30am with cake and a cuppa.  Mary will run through the menu for the day and you’ll start the preparation.   At break time expect to go outside foraging for ingredients throughout the expansive Te Puhi grounds.    You’ll visit the vege gardens and Mary may even ask you to dig for potatoes; a quick visit to the orchard will see the fruits on the ingredients list ticked off and a visit to the chook run is guaranteed for farm fresh eggs.   Active participation, questions and discussions are encouraged.   During the class you’ll also learn how to make Lavender’s Green Lemon Curd a home-grown kiwi brand and product created by Mary.    To book call 027 483 6181

Hike the Featherston Reserves Walkway

This series of four short tracks is just a short walk from the centre of Featherston. They're great walks for families to explore. The Featherston Domain is the longest walk and goes to a lookout at the top with views across the Wairarapa. From there it’s an easy walk to Barr-Brown Reserve for a short loop through native bush.  Entry to Featherston Domain is from Revans Street, Bell Street or Harrison Street West. The best entry for Barr-Brown Reserve is on Underhill Road.

Fell Locomotive Museum

Located in the main street of Featherston, the Fell Locomotive Museum exhibits the only remaining steam-powered Fell railway locomotive in the world.  From 1877, locomotive H 199 climbed 265 metres up the 4.8-kilometre Rimutaka Incline using John Barraclough Fell's unique method of four grip wheels on a raised centre rail. It is housed and tended to by a group of dedicated rail enthusiasts who are only too happy to share their stories and knowledge supported by audio-visual programmes, models, photographs and memorabilia in the museum.

The historic Royal Hotel

Take a pitstop during your visit to Featherston to experience the recently restored Royal Hotel with its interiors decked out in ‘steampunk’ grandeur.  The hotel dates back to the 1870s when the property was the principal hotel of the town.   The hotel has been witness to epic tales of adventurers, dreamers, rogues and rebels – and offered weary travellers who had crossed the Rimutakas a bed and meal.  It’s borne witness to soldiers marching past its doors and it’s guests heard the sounds of the locomotives passing through. A great selection of bar food is available and the bar has a beautiful fire place to keep you warm in the winter. 

Greytown

Continue to drive along State Highway 2 from Featherston to Greytown, awarded New Zealand’s Most Beautiful Small Town in 2017.   This lovely country village features beautifully restored Victorian buildings which house specialty stores, homewares, boutiques, cafes and restaurants.   

Martinborough Brewery

Just 20 minutes from Featherston in the heart of Martinborough you'll find the Martinborough Brewery and Tasting Room on Ohio Street.  A viewing window through to the Brewery enables you to watch the beer being made while an outside garden bar is perfectly situated to catch the afternoon sun.  Call in to see the Brewery team, the Tasting Room is open Thursday through to Monday from 11am – 7pm (also open Tuesdays during December and January) and is On and Off licence. Sit in the sun and enjoy the choice of 8 taps, tasting paddles, wine, cider and a small food menu designed around sharing plates.

Vineyards of Martinborough

Featherston is the gateway to the Wairarapa Wine Region.  Just 20 minutes drive down SH53 to the township of Martinborough you’ll be spoilt for choice with an exquisite variety of vineyards.   Be sure to try the Pinot Noir which is what has made the Wairarapa famous in viticulture circles globally.  Rent a bicycle and cycle the vineyards, sign up for a guided tour, or self drive.  The iSite tourist information offers free maps highlighting the vineyards and can offer terrific advice on where to stop for a bite to eat. Call in to Palliser Estate's Cellar Doors for a tasting - they're one of our generous Booktown sponsors.  

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© 2018 Featherston Booktown Trust

New Zealand Charity Registration Number CC52369

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