The advertising says, "Bring your appetite to Martinborough". Unfortunately we arrived with ours mid-afternoon on a Sunday when the recommended eating place was closing so we settled for browsing a dress shop which had some interesting art on display, a kitchen wares shop, a wine shop and a cosy little bar.
Martinborough Hotel on the corner
Martinborough's other claim to fame is its vineyards and we sampled a lovely rich red. I must return in summer sometime and visit some of those vineyards which are within walking distance of the quaint village square. Some of New Zealand’s best pinot noir comes from the town’s predominately family-owned vineyards.
Another of the small Wairarapa towns, Greytown has architectural charm and we enjoyed a stroll up and down the length of the main street with its excellent examples of Victorian colonial architecture. It's New Zealand's most complete street of wooden Victorian buildings and is a favourite weekend getaway for Wellingtonians.
I was most impressed by the huge Eucalyptus tree which stands outside one of the churches. It was planted there in 1856 after being carted in a wheelbarrow from Wellington. (Love a tree with a back story!)
Greytown really is a pretty town and is often described as the prettiest town in the North Island. It's shopping heaven, with the street lined with clothes, shoes and homeware shops, quirky antique stores, art shops and bric-a-brac. Each shop reflects the personality of its owners, some being the odd side of quirky I thought.
We returned a couple of days after our first stop to visit the Schoc Chocolate factory and Cobblestone Museum. I can close my eyes and imagine myself back there exploring my personality though chocology. True, that's what the brochure says I was doing. I'd be awfully ill if I explored in depth with all 85 flavours. That's the chocolate shop on the right in the shadow of the tree below. It stands on the edge of the museum grounds.
Little chocolate factory on the right
The museum was excellent, far exceeding my expectations. It's laid out as a small village with a schoolhouse, hospital, chapel, stables, blacksmiths etc. and a plethora of artifacts. There's lots of variety - shearing shed, ploughs and farming and road making equipment, as well as a couple of houses moved there from their original locations.
Old sheep shearing machine