About Carterton

Last updated: 15 Jan, 2024 10:24am



Our Community

Culture & Events

Town Map

Our History

Our District is part of the rohe of the Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa and Rangitāne o Wairarapa, and many hapu, including Ngati Kahukuraawhitia and Hurunui-o-rangi marae.

Carterton’s history is remembered through the Marae, the last remaining Pā in the district, and its many fine colonial buildings. Originally known as Three Mile Bush, the village was established to house and support workers building the road between Greytown and Masterton.

In 1857, in recognition of Charles Rooking Carter, settlers chose the name of Carterville for the new village, later changed by the Government to Carterton in 1859.

Dairy, wool, beef, and lamb were once the mainstay of the economy, with many residents working at the Waingawa freezing works north of the town at the end of Norman Avenue lined with rare oak trees.

The freezing works closed in 1991, but traditional farming remains along with new agricultural ventures such as deer, dairy goats, and the Manuka Honey industry.

Our Community

Historically a centre for supporting the agricultural industries, many people in our community now commute to Wellington for work, but choose to enjoy their leisure time in the country setting.

The 2018 Census showed we have a population of around 10,000, about 25 per cent of those people are school age.

As well as English and Te Reo Maori, our community is home to speak languages from across the world, including Samoan, French, German, Hindi, Spanish, and Afrikaans.

Visit Statistics NZ for more data on Carterton.



Central Business District

Carterton’s main street has retained its unpretentious character, offering plenty of opportunities for great bargains and interesting shops. Many of these shops have managed to retain some of their historic character with tongue and groove timber floors and classic old verandas, some held up by the original moulded cast iron poles.

A total of six primary schools serve the District along with an extensive medical centre and two dental practices.

Our Culture & Events

Major events are held in the Carterton District throughout the year, including the annual Daffodil Festival in September.

Every spring since the 1920’s people has been coming to pick daffodils from a field on the Booth family farm, “Middlerun”. This has grown into the annual Daffodil Festival held every September.

Find out more about our Daffodil Festival.

The district is also home to the Scarecrow Festival held every November, with Scarecrows lining the roads from Gladstone to Longbush, and activities including Scarecrow Fair and Scarecrow Scamper.

Every autumn the Wairarapa International Balloon Fiesta, showcasing a stunning array of hot air balloons from around the world take part in this week-long festival.

In the countryside, you will find unique wetlands, glowworms, English-style gardens, and great swimming holes. There are also bush walks, mountain biking, kayaking, fishing, and horse riding to enjoy.

With increasing numbers of visitors coming to Carterton to enjoy weekends and extended holidays, there’s a wide choice of accommodation available including homestays, B&Bs, a motel, hotels and camping sites. The town has great dining and cafes for visitors to enjoy.

The town’s cultural life is enhanced by the Carterton Events Centre which caters to a wide range of community services and events.



Town Map

Download a map of our town’s urban area here, or visit the Wairarapa Maps viewer for more resources to help you find your way around.

Cdc Street Map