Underpants, shop for underpants in Martinborough. Thrive is choc full of New Zealand designed and manufactured clothing. And is the home of Thunderpants underwear. If this is not enough check out backspace, while choosing which funky design matches your underwear credentials, backspace is where local artists host exhibitions.
Playgrounds are not just for children. Teenagers have swings as well. Check out Waihenga Centre, there’s a flying fox, swings, climbing frame and see-saws. The playground seamlessly flows from the library into the square bringing the concept of play into the town square. The area makes for a great meeting place.
Martinborough Museum. You are invited into a settlers living room. Martinborough Museum, a former library, was built in 1894 and is furnished to replicate an early settler’s cottage. An eclectic collection of artefacts and memorabilia includes a wedding dress that is tiny. There are numerous books, pamphlets and photographs for avid researchers to pore over. The museum is managed by volunteers and open only weekends and public holidays, 2pm-4pm or by arrangement. Admission is free with donations warmly welcome.
Craft beer has a place in a town known for its cellar doors. The Martinborough Brewery Tasting Room sells a range of craft beers including their own ales brewed on site. Their brewery platters include imaginative things like homemade sausage and herb rolls and Martinborough Beer Belly Jelly and Cheese Balls. Sit in the sun and enjoy the choice of 8 taps, tasting paddles, wine, cider and a small food menu designed around sharing plates.
OPEN 2PM -7PM MON/TUE/THUR, 11AM – 7PM FRI/SAT/SUN CLOSED WEDNESDAY.
One stop shop for Martinborough favourites at Martinborough Wine Merchants. Short on time it is not a problem as the store stocks most Wairarapa wines, olives oils and condiments. It even stocks the town’s two gin labels – Reid+Reid, and Lighthouse Gin. And if this is not enough you can book a wine tasting tour, a cycle to get around and talk to management about your upcoming wedding festivities. Martinborough Wine Merchants, definitely entertainment is sorted.
Considine Park is a big open green space, with a lovely stroll that joins the vineyard walk, Palliser Vineyard Walk, a 1 hour flat walk suitable for families. The walking track takes you around Palliser Vineyard towards the river and back through the centre of the vineyard. Start the walk at Considine Park. The walk is open weekends only, or weekdays after 5pm, depending on the lambing season. It is closed in March and April during harvest. You have sweeping views of farmland and vineyards.
Book a seat at the local cinema, Circus, a boutique cinema, restaurant and bar located off the square. The food here is fresh and seasonal and there are also pizzas for more casual dining. Make sure you have a booking as Circus is a local favourite.
Take a selfie of the town square. Perhaps you could say Martinborough is defined by its large green Union Square with its war memorial arches positioned as sight line markers from all entrances to the green swath, with its mature trees. It is restful, majestic and gives the buildings framing the square picture postcard views. The town is not the standard small village with a main street running through its retail heart. The village is folded around a visual representation of the Union Jack (flag). Martinborough’s soul is a public park. A favourite photo moment is the memorial entrance framing the path into the green oasis of Martinborough’s public square.
Up market with a dash of french flair is Martinborough Hotel bistro pub food. It is a very classy way to enjoy sausages, mashed potatoes and mustard gravy. Elegant pub food together with wine tastings (and potato fries on the side) is stupendous. Standard fare in a historic hotel overlooking the main street is a not to be missed treat.
The journey is worth it.