The chief town of Wairarapa region, Masterton is well-known for its annual Golden Shears shearing competition. There are many attractions within walking distance of the town centre. Stroll around the beautiful gardens of Queen Elizabeth Park, enjoy a heritage walk, or relax over a coffee at one of the town's caf├ęs. The Masterton Skate Park and the Oasis Climbing Wall offer activities for the more adventurous.

Masterton has easy access to the Tararua Ranges, and many attractive river spots and beaches at Castlepoint and Riversdale. To the north of Masterton are the Mount Bruce Pioneer Museum and the Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre, which breeds rare and endangered native species.