From the peaks of the Tararua Ranges, to the wild, beautiful eastern coastline, the Wairarapa region occupies the south-eastern corner of the North Island, and is home to a rapidly growing number of retirees.
The small-town charm and tight knit communities of Martinborough, Featherston, Masterton, Caterton, and Greytown are drawing in Wellingtonians, Aucklanders, and Kiwis from all over the country. So, what’s making Wairarapa one of the New Zealand’s most popular retirement spots?
New Zealand’s most beautiful region
Last year, Wairarapa’s very own Masterton took home the title of ‘New Zealand’s Most Beautiful City’, as part of the annual ‘Most Beautiful Awards’ competition.
Judges recognised the city’s wide range of environmental and heritage conservation projects, high levels of community engagement, and different social groups dedicated to making the city a beautiful place to live.
In another big win for the region, Greytown was also awarded ‘New Zealand’s Most Beautiful Small Town’ for 2017. As the oldest town in Wairarapa, Greytown is renowned for its great food, colonial cottages, locally-owned businesses, and wide range of local community activities.
The Wairarapa lifestyle
Other towns throughout the Wairarapa region like Martinborough, Caterton, Eketahuna and Featherston share a similar community spirit and small-town lifestyle.
With long hot summers and a comfortable climate, there are plenty of outdoor activities to keep residents busy. Some of the most popular attractions in the region include spots like Lake Henley, Queen Elizabeth Park, Millennium Reserve, Hosking Garden, Mount Bruce Wildlife Centre, Cape Palliser and Castlepoint (to name a few).
Masterton and Martinborough are also known for their renowned food and wine culture, with fantastic restaurants, cafes, and wineries.
Wairarapa is one of the least populated regions in the country, making for a relaxed pace of life far removed from the hustle and bustle of nearby Wellington.
Affordable cost of living
Compared to the neighbouring city of Wellington, the cost of living in Wairarapa is an affordable alternative – consumer prices including rent are 20% cheaper, and rent prices are 54% cheaper.
When compared to Auckland, it’s drastically more affordable — consumer prices including rent are 27% lower, rent prices are 59% lower, and the cost of groceries is much cheaper, (via Numbeo.com).
If you’re looking to buy a home in Wairarapa, there’s even more good news. The average cost of a house in the Wairarapa region is $463,217 — which is 66% cheaper than Auckland, and 28% cheaper than Wellington (via QV.co.nz).
Strong support systems
To support the growing popularity of Wairarapa as a retirement hot-spot, there’s an ample supply of villages, communities, treatment centres and medical facilities throughout the region.
The Masonic Villages Trust is the largest charitable aged care provider in the southern North Island, and their Wairarapa Masonic Village is a popular first choice for many retirees in the area. They provide apartments, one room flats, and two or three-bedroom villas, as well as a range of medical services and community activities.
Other facilities like Wharekaka Retirement Village, Lansdowne Park, Kandahar Home, Metlifecare Wairarapa Village, amongst many others, offer highly regarded accommodation, community and health care services.
Thinking of settling down in Wairarapa?
If you’re ready to start the next chapter of your life in Wairarapa, we can help you take care of your belongings during this time, whether you need to downsize, or temporarily relocate your household goods.