Masterton is the Wairarapa's largest town and is rumoured to be the warmest Wairarapa town during the summer. The town was founded by the Small Farms Association, and named after its leader Joseph Masters. There is still a strong link to farming as the town of Masterton is surrounded by working farms and is the main hub for the smaller rural communities. Sheep farming is what Masterton was built on and this is celebrated with the town hosting the annual Golden Shears sheep-shearing competition, the world's premier shearing and wool handling championship.
Set in 940 hectares of forest, Pūkaha is on State Highway 2, half way between Napier and Wellington right at the heart of the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail. A perfect and special stop off point to learn about New Zealand’s very special environment. At Pūkaha, they are dedicated to restoring the forest and protecting and nurturing endangered birds and animals – particularly kiwi, kokako, kaka and tuatara. Pūkaha has a very successful breeding programme and is home to the only white kiwi in captivity in the world, Manukura.
Your entry fee covers seven daily wildlife talks and feeds as well as entry to the nocturnal house where you will see Manukura, the worlds only white kiwi in captivity. Also in the nocturnal house is Turua, another North Island Brown Kiwi. Enjoy a walk through free flight aviary where you can experience the bush as it was hundreds of years ago. Enjoy the birds flying around you while viewing the Whio (Blue duck) and Pateke (Brown Teal) on the river run.
The Wool Shed is the New Zealand's National Museum of Sheep and Shearing. The museum prides itself on being hands-on, not your typical museum. You can touch and feel most of the exhibits, watch interactive displays and see physical woolsheds both old and new. Out the back there is even a rebuilt wool shed in the traditional style. Wool has been a backbone of the New Zealand's economy for a century and a half. You'll learn why wool has been so important in New Zealand's history and what makes us one of the best wool producers in the world. The Wool Shed Museum showcases wool in all its forms, from carpet, to clothing, fashion knitwear and other unique uses. There is an extensive gift shop with all manner of sheep and wool related products, great for that unique souvenir.