Masterton proudly plays host to and supports lots of amazing events throughout the year. Below are some of our most popular annual events which attract visitors from all over.

All events supported or connected with the Council are also listed on our Facebook page.


New Zealand Conservation Week is celebrating its 50 years from 14-22nd September 2019. 

Conservation Week is a chance to bring everyone together to do their bit – big or small to create change. Every year, thousands of kiwis get involved because when we pull together, we can make a big difference!

There are many events happening around Wairarapa this Conservation Week that you can get involved in. See below to find out what activities are available!


Date Event Location Event Details
Saturday 14/9 Opening – Pukaha 

Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre

Celebrating 50 years of Conservation Week – the opening ceremony will include guest speakers, a special screening of the latest movie about Conservation in the Wairarapa and a tour to learn a bit about the history and cultural connections mana whenua have with Pukaha

10am-1pm Invite only – Open to representatives from any community conservation group – get in touch with Aiden Broughton from DOC if you would like to attend – [email protected]

Sunday 15/9 Waiwaka Stream Masterton

An opportunity for people to come together to walk along and rediscover the Waiwaka Stream, as it meanders above and below ground in urban Masterton. Follow it from its first known location, at 38 Cornwall St, through to where it meets the Makoura in Garlands Bush. There will be history, eel facts, hydrology, botany and a few surprises.

Starting at 10am. Free and open to the public. Expected walking time 2.5 hours. Leave vehicles at 38 Cornwall Street and collect later. Space limited to 20 walkers. Walkers limited to no more than 2 legs. Bring warm clothing, raincoat, stout footwear, a snack , and a drink.

To register email [email protected] or ‘phone 06 3770032


Monday 16/9 Pūkaha rongoā event

Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre

A fantastic opportunity for people to learn about the world of rongoā Māori, and the tikanga involved in learning rongoā.

Get out into the ngahere (the bush) and learn how to identify some of the plants that grow there and a bit about the traditional practices that need to be followed for harvesting for rongoā.

10am-12pm. Free and open to the public. Limited numbers – please register your interest with Tara Swan at [email protected]

Tuesday 17/9 Waipoua urban conservation event Masterton

A chance to learn about urban waterways, what lives in and around them and what we can do to look after these areas. Get hands on – make a native tree seed bomb! Meet some of our native stream critters or learn how to stop pollution. Free BBQ lunch provided.

Schools – 9.45-12pm

Open to the Public 12-4:30pm

Free Event –Adjacent to skatepark and Waipoua River, by roundabout at north end of town.

Contact Jim Flack at DOC for more details [email protected]

Thursday 19/9 Movie and networking night Masterton

A chance to meet and strategise with like-minded conservationists and youth across the Wairarapa, enjoy a few nibbles and watch “2040” the much acclaimed movie. 5pm onwards at the screening room in Masterton.  

Invite only – open to representatives from any community conservation group – get in touch with Andrea Rutene from DOC if you would like to attend – [email protected]

Thursday 19/9 Pou Aruhe planting – Western side of Lake Ōnoke

Lake Ōnoke

Planting day involving local schools and volunteers. Less than 3% of indigenous wetlands remain in NZ – Be a part of helping to restore these critically important ecosystems.    

10am-2.30pm at Pou Aruhe Wetland Planting – Western Lake Road on the Western Shore of Lake Onoke – look for parked Doc vehicles to find us!

Free event – Open to the public. Contact Jim Flack at DOC if you are interested in attending [email protected]  

Friday 20/9 Riversdale dune planting event Riversdale

Coastal Ecosystem education session and practical session in dunes doing ecological weeding and potentially netting some natives to protect from predation of rabbits. Depending on availability we have a pest animal officer talk about pest control.

10am – 12.30pm at the Riversdale surf life saving club and in the dunes

Whareama school students will be the main participants

Public or other local schools also welcome, 40 places max (Whareama school to bring 25).

For registration email [email protected] / 0220685424

Free event which will finish with a BBQ lunch

Sunday 22/9 Mt Holdsworth Family Bushwalk  Mt Holdsworth

Join Chris Petersen for a guided tour of some of New Zealand’s pristine indigenous forest. Chris will share stories from his great many years wandering the Tararua ranges. A great chance to learn about New Zealand forest ecosystems.

Free and open to the public. Limited numbers.

10am -2pm. 

Sunday 22/9 Conservation Week 2019 Closing Ceremony Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre

The closing of Conservation Week 2019 to be acknowledged through the unveiling of a memorial bench seat commemorating 50 years of Conservation Week in Aotearoa. Invite only – open to representatives from any community conservation group – get in touch with Aiden Broughton from DOC if you would like to attend – [email protected]


Waifest is Masterton’s way to celebrate and commemorate Waitangi Day, where we celebrate our Tangata Whenua, the people of the land, and everyone else who is lucky enough to call this beautiful region home. It is also an opportunity for people of all cultures to explore what Waitangi Day means.

The Golden Shears logo has become an internationally recognised trademark that symbolises both quality and excellence in the skilful art of shearing and wool handling. The three days of competitions encompass novice, junior, intermediate, senior and open shearing along with novice, junior, senior and open wool handling plus singles & pairs wool pressing as well as the coveted triathlon award.

Wings Over Wairarapa is the largest aviation event in the North Island. The Wairarapa provides a stunning backdrop to an extravaganza of aerial action over three days, 22, 23, 24 February 2019. It features WWI, WWII, agricultural, helicopters, military and civil aircraft on display and in the skies. The Royal New Zealand Air Force will be a key feature as well as a Saturday Night Show featuring the UK ‘Airborne Pyrotechnics’ gliding team.

Matariki is the Māori name for the Pleaides star cluster. It rises during mid-winter and marks the beginning of the Māori new year. The word is an abbreviation of Ngā Mata o te Ariki (Eyes of God) in reference to Tāwhirimātea, god of the wind and weather. Matariki is celebrated across the Wairarapa with much flair, so get ready to be spell-bound by this starry festival. 

Kokomai is a biannual festival with a mission to inspire and entertain residents and visitors in the Wairarapa by delivering world-class diverse, accessible, creative events and experiences. The next festival will be from the 10th to 19th October 2019 and the Friends of Kokomai society also run events throughout the year. 

Prepare for liftoff over your Easter weekend. The Wairarapa Balloon Festival, which has been running for 20 years, draws crowds from all around the country to witness the spectacular sight of hot air balloons flying across the valley. With a night glow extravaganza and balloon rides on offer, it’s fun for the whole family. 

A family grass-roots festival of music, local craft, good food and great wine. Featuring 2 stages. These are bands we think are the ones to watch in the next few years, and guaranteed to get your dancing shoes on! The focus is on family enjoyment so bring the kids and enjoy the entertainment in the beautiful surroundings of the Gladstone Vineyard.

Huri Huri is Wairarapa’s year-round bike festival. It provides an opportunity to get on your bike, get active and get involved …. and of course, we’d love to see more people using their bike as a way of getting around! This year Wairarapa celebrates a summer of cycling with a series of biking events for all levels of rider.

Each year in September, a Birth to Earth event is held for families who wish to bury their placenta in the Henley Lake Whenua Garden.A placenta is called the Tree of Life because it resembles a tree and is often associated with motherhood. It is common tradition in the Maori culture to bury the whenua (placenta) and pito (umbilical cord) of newborn babies in a significant place.
Some believe that returning the placenta back to earth nurtures the child’s bond with the land.
In recognition of people, in recognition of Mother Earth Toi Tangata, Toi Whenua.