What’s On in Greytown this summer

There’s a reason why Greytown won NZ’s Most Beautiful Small Town this year. First founded in the 1850s, the Wairarapa town still has an unspoiled colonial charm. Today, the historical cottages and buildings are home to boutique shops, some of the country’s best artisan food producers and heritage accommodation. Just over an hour’s drive from Wellington or two hours from Palmerston North, Greytown is ideal for a day trip or weekend away. Shoppers can fill their carry bags with everything from unique kids toys and antiques to beautiful homewares and delicious chocolate.

Nature lovers can wander through the Heritage Tree Trail (pick up a map from the Information Centre on Main Street) to see the majestic 60+ protected trees, including eight conifers planted on New Zealand’s first Arbor Day in 1890. Those feeling more adventurous can bike along the five-kilometre historic Greytown Woodside rail corridor to explore the scenic countryside.

Planning a weekend away? Here are nine of the best things to do in this breathtaking little town.


Pashley Cycles is England’s longest-established bicycle manufacturer. Founded in 1926 and based in Stratford-Upon-Avon, its dedicated team design and hand-build a unique range of traditional bicycles and tricycles.

The Poppy exudes an elegant simplicity that turns heads wherever it takes you. Inspired by the colours of an English country garden at the height of summer, the choice of Blush Pink or Pastel Blue paintwork adds to the beauty of the classic curved frame, letting you glide through your surroundings in a comfortable, upright position.

The Poppy is suited to both short hops around town and longer weekend jaunts into the countryside. It’s subtle details include soft-touch cork grips and the hand-made Brooks leather saddle that gradually forms to your shape for effective support. The hub brakes ensure powerful stopping in all weather conditions, the lightweight 3-speed hub gears let you tackle hills at a good pace, and the gorgeous cream Schwalbe tyres resist punctures to give you uninterrupted riding pleasure. On sale just in time for the summer, their Poppy bicycles are now just $995 each from Blackwell & Sons.

Blackwell & Sons
101 Main Street, Greytown, New Zealand

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Get cuddly with these beautifully unique, hand-made sock monkeys, lovingly sewn right in Greytown. Sock Monkeys are an American tradition, emerging during the Great Depression where women first made sock monkeys out of worn-out Rockford Red Heel Socks so their children could enjoy toys, at no extra cost to the household. The Greytown Free Range Monkey Company has been producing New Zealand-made artisan sock monkeys since 2002. Each is unique, entirely hand-sewn, and made from only new materials. Available exclusively from Tapestry on Main.


86 Main Street, Greytown

More information online here


Emporos Antiques and Interiors is a long-established independent furniture and furnishing store, arranged over two historic premises at 75 to 77 Main Street, Greytown.

Emporos Gallery store combines mid-century, antique and contemporary furniture with French furnishing fabrics, lighting, and one-off pieces of art and design.

The store buys fabrics direct from the producers which makes them affordable. The printed, woven and plain linens and cottons are hand-picked to create traditional, contemporary or classic rooms. Emporos also offer a bespoke service for making curtains, blinds, cushions and other soft furnishings.

Emporos and Just William Store offer a carefully considered selection of homewares, accessories and jewellery, combined with vintage and antique furniture and decorative pieces. You’ll also find kitchen utensils, cookware and tableware from Europe and New Zealand. Other treasures include Simply Italian jewellery and silver frame, French home perfumes, soaps and candles, books, and toys and gifts for children.


75-77 Main Street, Greytown

Instagram @emporosgreytown


Makers, sewers and creatives will delight in the dazzling range of cotton fabrics, haberdashery, textiles and decorative objects at Jet. With many items imported especially for Jet or vintage items squirrelled away unused for years, there’s plenty to discover here that can’t be found anywhere else. Jet is the exclusive New Zealand stockist of the gorgeous Cotton+Steel Thread by Sulky, and has extensive selections from fabric designers including Kaffe Fassett, Denyse Schmidt, Rifle Paper Co, and Tim Holtz.


130 Main Street, Greytown

More information online here


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The Greytown Country Market attracts more than 1000 visitors each month, who delight in a Wairarapa showcase of locally-grown produce and artisanal creations. Visitors to the popular market will be welcomed by the aroma of freshly-brewed coffee and the sizzle of sausages on the breakfast barbie. As you wander through the park visiting stalls, expect to find exquisite jewellery pieces, artisan wooden woodwork and antique silver. There’s no shortage of delicious edibles such as locally-produced honey and olive oil, homemade preserves, and fashion lovers can peruse the racks of colourful clothing and gorgeous babywear.

Make a day of it in Greytown, visiting the market, browsing the local shops and treating yourself to a delicious lunch at one of the many restaurants lining Greytown’s main street. Or extend your visit to a weekend, staying at one of the many B&Bs in the town or the surrounding wine region.

The Greytown Country Market is on the third Sunday of each month from 9 am to 1pm at Stella Bull Park on the village’s main street. (October – March each year).

The Greytown Country Market

Third Sunday of each month in Stella Bull Park, Greytown. 9am – 1pm.



Built in 1860, Greytown Hotel is the oldest hotel on its original site in New Zealand. Visitors can soak in the history and character of the building and its locals while enjoying top-notch pub food, with a twist. The chefs at Greytown Hotel dare customers to try something different, such as their sharing plates of chocolate fried potatoes matched with a Dibon sparkling wine. If you’re after a main course, order the Seared Ostrich, Mojo Chicken Salad with Cajun Spices, or Palliser Ridge Lamb Rack. If you’re feeling less adventurous, they also serve up tasty Kiwi classics, such as fish and chips, vegetarian burgers and steaks. With a relaxed dining room, super-friendly staff, and a creative kitchen, Greytown Hotel promises an exceptional dining experience you won’t forget in a hurry.

The Greytown Hotel

33 Main Street Greytown



Taylor Road Homewares is an internationally award-winning store. It sources and carries a wide range of sought-after, exclusive designer brands from around the world, including a variety of over 100 different loose leaf teas, and the latest collections from New Zealand linen house, Wallace Cotton. With stores in Greytown, Auckland, Palmerston North and online, you can add a touch of beautiful to your home today.

Taylor Road Homewares

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The Hub , 74-76 Main Street, Greytown 5712   



Greytown’s Schoc Chocolate has created a special Greytown Schoc Chocolate Bar just in time for sharing and enjoying over the summer.

After asking the community for ideas to create a “taste of Greytown” chocolate bar a few weeks ago, Schoc Founder Murray Langham created a perfectly balanced flavour that captures the essence of Greytown’s agricultural heritage, a beautiful dark Schoc Chocolate with Raspberry, Pear and Apple flavours.

“With hundreds of suggestions received from locals and chocolate lovers all over the country, we loved getting involved in the Greytown Schoc creation process,” says Murray. “In the end, it made sense to capture a complementary range of flavours. Raspberries and dark chocolate have always been a lovely combination, and when a mellow flavour like pear and a little tangy apple are introduced, you get a wonderfully balanced taste that appeals to everyone who has sampled it. We are very excited to have a Greytown-branded chocolate tablet, and it’s nice to describe it as a Taste of Heaven.”

The Taste of Heaven chocolate bar is available exclusively from Schoc located on Greytown’s Main Street and through a range of retailers in the Country Village Heaven group. It is selling for $14. Schoc’s production team will be working overtime in the coming week to keep up with demand. Please visit Schoc during opening hours to purchase the Taste of Heaven tablets or to place your order.


177 Main Street, Greytown, Wairarapa 5712, New Zealand


Plan a weekend getaway at Wyett House, an exceptional 1850s country home with contemporary comfort, peace and privacy. There are two exquisitely furnished suites in the Main House and a self-contained two bedroomed cottage The Annex, both set amidst the beautifully landscaped garden. Wyett House is the ultimate escape experience and is the perfect place to unwind and relax. Your hosts, Carmel and Stuart, will happily attend to your every need.

Wyett House
12 Main Street, Greytown


NZ Life and Leisure This article first appeared in NZ Life & Leisure Magazine.
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