Small Town New Zealand: Greytown

greytownWith its tree-lined streets and beautifully-restored Victorian buildings, Greytown is often considered one of the prettiest towns in New Zealand. It lies in the Wairarapa region in the lower North Island, just an hour’s drive from Wellington. Let’s take a closer look…

About town

You can easily while away a few hours (or an entire day) strolling the shops, galleries and antique stores of the main street. Greytown is a popular shopping destination from Wellington and there are boutique stores aplenty!

If delving into history is more your thing, take a self-guided tour of the town’s most interesting buildings. You can pick up a map from the Greytown Information Centre. A Heritage Tree Tour is also on offer – the town has a strong history of tree conservation and New Zealand’s first Arbor Day plantings took place in Greytown in 1890. Cobblestones Early Settlers Museum also features some of the region’s most historic buildings – it’s set up more like a village than a museum.


Main Street Deli is a bustling little eatery, well known for its pies. The Greytown Hotel serves delicious restaurant meals, as well as bar snacks or head for Bar Salute, considered one of the best restaurants in the region. Those with a sweet tooth should make a beeline for Schoc Chocolates, where a whopping 85 different flavours jostle for your tastebuds’ attention.

Work off the chocolate

Walk or bike the Greytown to Woodside trail, an easy 5km track running though the countryside. Or take a plunge at the Greytown Memorial Baths, located in Soldiers Memorial Park.

After hours

Keep your eyes peeled for Lighthouse gin, made by Greytown Fine Distillers. It’s served in several bars and restaurants about town.

Dates for the diary

The Harvest Festival is a popular annual event, showcasing food and wine from the region. Held at a beautiful, sheltered riverside setting on the banks of the Ruamahunga River, next year’s festival takes place Saturday 7 March 2015.

Sweet dreams

Greytown Campground is located in Soldiers Memorial Park, just a short stroll from the main high street. Motel, hotel and B&B listings can be found on the Greytown website.

We’re about to launch a new guided cycle tour which takes in the Wairarapa and Greytown region. Keep your eyes peeled for details next week!

Image: Bruce Kirk