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Masterton is the main town in the Wairarapa region of the North Island of New Zealand.


Masterton and nearby Greytown were established in 1854 by the Wairarapa Small Farms Association. The association was led by Joseph Masters, after whom the town is named. Masterton gained borough status in 1877, and the railway from Wellington arrived in November 1880. Today the town is home to 21,800 people, with another 3,400 living in the surrounding rural areas.

  • 1 Masterton i-SITE Visitor Centre, cnr Dixon & Bruce Sts, Masterton, +64 6 370 0900, . Mo-Fr 09:00-17:00, Sa-Su & holidays 10:00-16:00.

Get in[edit]

By car[edit]

State Highway 2 passes through the middle of Masterton en route between Wellington and the Hawke's Bay. There is a signposted heavy traffic bypass for those passing through and wanting to avoid central Masterton. State Highway 2 from Wellington passes over Remutaka Pass via the Rimutaka Hill Road, a busy and winding 15 km road with a poor accident record, so take extra care.

Distance and times (non-stop):

By train[edit]

Metlink train services run between Wellington and Masterton five times daily on weekdays and twice daily on weekends each way, taking around 95 minutes. There are no reserved seats but there is a luggage compartment and bicycles can be carried. Tickets can be purchased at a station ticket office (cash or EFTPOS) or onboard the train (cash only). The standard adult single fare from Wellington is $18.00.

There are three stations serving Masterton: 1 Solway, 2 Renall Street, and 3 Masterton. Masterton is the main station and the closest to the town centre, and is staffed for 30 minutes prior to each Wellington-bound departure. Solway and Renall Street are non-staffed; Solway is mainly a park 'n' ride station located in a semi-rural area serving southern Masterton, while Renall Street serves the nearby residential areas.

By bus[edit]

A regular public bus service operating six days a week (no service Sunday or public holidays) connects Masterton with Carterton, Greytown, Featherston and Martinborough to the south. Tranzit Coachlines operates a bus service between Palmerston North and Masterton five times per week.

By plane[edit]

There have been no air services to Masterton since February 2014. The nearest airports with scheduled air services are in Wellington and Palmerston North.

Get around[edit]

Central Masterton has three main streets parallel to each other; Chapel Street (SH 2) to the west, Queen Street in the middle and Dixon Street to the east. Most of the major commercial and retail facilities in Masterton are located on one of these three streets.

Masterton is reasonably flat, so walking and cycling around the town are viable options.

A shopper bus service operates within the town between 09:00 and 15:15 on weekdays rotating between four routes: South (202), West (201), Lansdowne (203) and East (206).



  • 1 Mt Holdsworth - Jumbo Circuit. A 24km 2-3 day tramp (walk), with accommodation in DOC huts. The route climbs through forest to open high top tracks, climbing from an altitude of 313m to 1448m. huts $5 - $15 per night.


  • 2 Golden Shears, War Memorial Stadium, 2 Dixon St. New Zealand's premier sheep shearing and wool handling competition, held annually in the first weekend of March.
  • Wairarapa Balloon Festival. Dozens of hot air balloons from New Zealand and the world congregate on the Masterton area for an annual 4-5 day festival held in March-April. The major highlight of the festival is the Night Glow, held at Solway Showgrounds.
  • 3 Wings over Wairarapa, Hood Aerodrome, South Road. A biennial air show and festival featuring dozens of vintage WWI and WWII aircraft. The last festival on 17-19 February 2017 was washed out; the next is due in 2019.


  • 1 Wairarapa Farmers' Market, The Farriers Carpark, 4 Queen St (entrance off Chapel St opposite fire station). Sa 09:00-13:00. Local produce including fruit and vegetables, honey, cheese, wine, eggs and olive oil.


All three major supermarket chains have a presence in Masterton: Pak'n Save (cnr Queen & Crayne Sts, Kuripuni), Countdown (cnr Queen St & Worksop Rd), and New World (cnr Dixon & Bruce Sts). Most of the national fast food chains have presence in Masterton: Burger King, Domino's, McDonald's, Pita Pit and Subway are within a short distance of each other on Chapel Street between Lincoln Road and King Street, while Hell Pizza (276 Queen Street), KFC (cnr Chapel & Crayne Sts, Kuripuni), and Pizza Hut (89 Chapel Street) are also present.

  • 1 Cafe Strada, 232 Queen Street (cnr Jackson Street), +64 6 378 8450. Daily 07:15 to late. $18-$32.
  • 2 The Farriers Bar & Eatery, 4 Queen St, +64 6 377 1102. Daily 09:00 to late. $21-$37.
  • 3 Lone Star Restaurant & Bar, 49 Dixon St (cnr Church Street), +64 6 377 7308. Mo-Th 15:00-late, Fr-Su 11:00-late. Texas-themed restaurant known for its large meals. $24-$38.
  • 4 Ten O'Clock Cookie Bakery Cafe, 180 Queen St, +64 6 377 4551. Mo-We 07:00-16:30, Th-Fr 07:00-21:30, Sa 08:00-16:00, Su closed. Multiple award-winning bakery.
  • 5 Mr Chips Takeaway, 22 Chapel St, +64 6 377 3697. Daily 11:00-21:00. Fish and chips and Chinese takeaway, with large Chinese smorgasbord daily from 17:00. Won the 2017 Bidfood People’s Choice Best Chips Award.



  • 1 Acorn Estate Motel, 6 Manchester St, Solway (cnr High St), +64 6 377 0155, toll-free: 0800 222 191. 11 Smoke free self contained suites with full cooking facilities & Sky TV. Access units available. Guest laundry, BBQ, swimming pool, private spa, playground, trampoline, wireless internet. Continental & cooked breakfasts available. A member of the Host Accommodation group. Qualmark 3 star plus self contained and serviced. $95-$135.
  • 2 Copthorne Hotel & Resort Solway Park, High Street, Solway, +64 6 370 0500. 102 rooms sleeping 2-4 persons. Has on onsite restaurant and bar, separate cafe and golf driving range. Qualmark 4 Star Plus. $145-210.


Stay safe[edit]

Accident & emergency is located at 2 Wairarapa Hospital on Te Ore Ore Road, Lansdowne. In an emergency, dial 111 for an ambulance.

  • 3 Masterton Medical, 4 Colombo Road, Lansdowne (behind the hospital), +64 6 370 0011. Weekdays 08:00-18:00 (except We 09:00-18:00). The sole medical centre serving Masterton. Beware due to the large patient base, a routine appointment can involve a 7-10 day wait. The Wairarapa After Hours Service for urgent after-hours appointments operates out of Masterton Medical on weekends and public holidays 09:00 to 17:00 and at other times by arrangement. Medical $67-85; Accident (ACC) $35-45.

Go next[edit]

This city travel guide to Masterton is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.