It’s February, it’s the hottest month in the year and a lot is happening in the country. This month, we take you to Wellington, the Wairarapa and Hawke’s Bay for an ezi summer escape.
Day One: Wellington
Explore the compact, vibrant and cultural capital of New Zealand. Wellington’s energetic hub of fantastic food, craft beer, coffee and events is showcased this month through Wellington Brew Day.
Relax at Oriental Bay, Wellington’s golden sand-inner city beach, delve into the many museums, art galleries and theatre shows that make up the city’s pulsing cultural scene, or take a gourmet food tour to discover the hidden gems of NZ’s capital city.
If you’re outdoorsy, visit Zealandia to spend the day with truly amazing native bird species. Enjoy the company of our bush parrot, the kaka, spot some prehistoric looking tuataras, or take a night tour to spot a kiwibird.
Wellington also has action-packed adventure activities from mountain biking to sea-water kayaking, as well as scenic walks around the harbour and surrounding hills. Try the Makara Peak track, as well as the City to Sea walk where you can experience the best of Wellington’s inner city waterfront.
Take a ride on the famous cable car to Kelburn for amazing views and relax in the botanic gardens.
Hit the road to the Red Rock reserve for a nice coastal walk to Wellington’s fur seal colony.
Day Two: Wellington – Martinborough | 80km – 1h
Jump on SH2 for a direct, scenic drive over the Rimutaka Hill Road Pass. Halfway down there’s a corner where the whole view of the Wairarapa opens up before you, bush-clad ranges to the west across the flat Wairarapa plains to a rugged coast on the east.
This is a rural area with an off-the beaten-track charm offering a wide range of things to so. Trampers, head to the Waiohine Gorge at the bottom of the Tararuas to find a swing bridge which will be your gateway to a multitude of tracks across the ranges. Take a bit of a drive to Cape Palliser on the coast, one of the most scenic point in New Zealand with it’s 1897 lighthouse.
While the Wairarapa’s surroundings are great for outdoors, it also had a unique charm. Each town has it’s own individual flavor. Martinborough is the centre of the wine industry – take a tour of the vineyards – while Greytown has an architectural charm.
Every two years, Masterton hosts a fantastic air show called Wings Over Wairarapa. Whether you are an aviation enthusiast or just want and entertaining weekend away for the family, Wings Over Wairarapa has so much to offer. Check out their amazing program here.
Day Three: Wairarapa – Napier (Hawke’s Bay) | 270km – 3h30
Hit the road until you reach Hawke’s Bay, home to some of New Zealand’s finest wine and the world-known art deco city of Napier.
A national disaster resulted in Napier becoming one of the purest Art Deco cities in the world. On the morning of February 3rd 1931 a massive earthquake – 7.9 on the Richter scale – rocked Hawke’s Bay for more than three minutes. The vast majority of buildings in the commercial centre of Napier were destroyed, either by the quake itself or the fires that followed. Rebuilding began almost immediately and much of it was done in only 2 years reflecting the architectural styles of the times: stripped classical, Spanish mission and art deco.
Every year, this vibrant coastal city holds one the of greatest Art Deco festival in the world. A weekend of time travel where everyone dresses up and vibrates with the sound of all 1930’s classic cars.
Day Four: Napier
Embrace the art deco atmosphere of Napier, do on a wine and cycle tour or simply relax on the beach. Countless options in this dynamic region!
Nature seekers, you won’t be in rest here either. Visit the gannet colony in Cape Kidnappers for amazing views and close encounters with these gorgeous sea birds, or hire a mountain bike to go down Te Mata Peak.
The National Aquarium on the waterfront is worth a visit. Book a blue penguin encounter to get close up with them and feed them – the blue penguins they have are rescued from the wild.
Day Five: Napier – Wellington via Kapiti Coast | 315km – 4h
Head back to Wellington via the Kāpiti Coast.
Kāpiti boasts 40kms of unspoilt beaches, a warm climate and friendly people – the perfect place to enjoy real Kiwi experiences. Only an hour from Wellington, this is the perfect place to relax before going back to our capital city.
If the beach is not your thing, then head to Otaki Forks for a short bush walk.
Book your Wellington Airport car rental now and hit the road in style!