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Masterton

Masterton is a good base for exploring the Wairarapa. In an hour you can drive to the sandy beaches of Castlepoint and Riversdale. The shopping area has been modernised in recent years. Joseph Masters, a cooper by trade, was the founder of the settlement and in recognition of this the the wrought iron street adornments reflect the curves of a barrel. Roses grow on trellises in Queen Street - a further attraction to the area.

After a shopping session you can choose among a number of cafes for a break.

There is a choice of accommodation close to the centre of the town and the Council owns a well run camp ground with cabins and camping sites north of Queen Street. A short journey will take you to a range of homestays, farmstays, and bed and breakfasts, which give you a chance to get to know the people of the area.

Masterton is a centre which hosts a wide variety of events, the highlights being a week long balloon festival, first class cricket matches, dragonboat racing. and the Golden Shears shearing competition held on the three days leading up to the first Saturday in March.

Queen Elizabeth Park, close to the town centre, has a deer park, a boating lake, a miniature railway which runs around an island in the lake, and a "Kid's Own" playground. The land for the park was set aside by the pioneers, and the playground was mostly developed by volunteers - both examples of Masterton people caring for the children who visit the park in large numbers. Another place worth a visit and close to town is Henley Lake, a man made lake in a 43 hectare wilderness area which is the site of the dragon boat festival and popular for fishing, sailing, canoeing and model yachting.

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