Where is the Martinborough Fair held

The fair is held in the South Wairarapa town of Martinborough.

South Wairarapa Rotary Club secure a Market Hawker's license from the District Council and the Club members mark out over 500 stalls on the roads, footpaths and in the central park.

Stalls sites are marked out at either 6 x 3 metres or 3 x 3 metres and from October the 1st each year, applications are invited for use of these pre-defined plots.

How are applications processed

All applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible as applications are processed in the order they are paid. (Not the order they are received!)

During the month of october, returning stallholders are given the opportunity to book the same site they had the previous year.  From the 1st of November on, ALL paid

applications are distributed around the remaining stall sites.

First, returning stallholders who have paid and indicated they want to move are assessed and if the target site has not been booked by last year's holder, they are moved.

Then, all paid applications are assessed by payment date order and remaining stall sites are filled.

Arriving at the Fair

There are four main access corridors to Martinborough.

  • State highway 53 from either Featherston or Greytown
  • Ponatahi Road fropm Masterton/Carterton
  • Lake Ferry Road from Pirinoa/South
  • There's also Longbush/Hinakura from the East

The Fair is set up around the central square so when you drive in, you can circumnavigate the center by using Strasbourg, Venice, Sackvill or Ohio streets, and choose a spoke road that will take you closest to your stall site.

Finding your site

NOTE: No vehicles are allowed on the grass in the central park area.

Locate your site on the maps (see maps page here) and park temporarily nearby.  The sites are marked with two letters, (indicating the sector), and two numbers. (See below).

If there are only two numbers, it is expected that you will know what road you are standing on.  If you are in Oxford Street for instance, all the sites can be assumed to have an OX prefix to the wo numbers you see. Make sure you are at the correct site

Walk around and find out where your site is and assess any access issues. 

Where is the closest parking you can get to for your setup operations?

Once you have evaluated your logistical options, park your car as close as you can to the site. If you are in the central park, you might be able to get down one of the paved accessways that lead to the atrium, and carry your stall gear to the site from there. Please move out as soon as you can to let others in. Note; Bring a hand truck or trolley with you for the purpose.

Can you fit your proposed equipment on the site? If you think there will be issues, contact the Fair HQ (in the Fire Station) for resolution.

Setting up

Many stallholders start setting up quite early - some are there at 4am.  The Rotary area marshals start work around 6am and you need to have your vehicle clear by 7:30am ready for the road closure and start of the market at 8am. 

Set up within your site boundary.  If the marking out is inaccurate, please be patient and pragmatic.  Our volunteers do their best but are not always perfect.  We can and will sort it out for you.  the lines are there to guide - and if they were washed away in the night we all need to work together to get everyone sited.  Don't just plonk yourself down in everyone's way.  Get some advice from the roving site marshals (white coats/hi-viz vests and yellow caps). Don't just decide to utilise an empty site near you.  If there is an empty site, we may use it to move people to if they have problems elsewhere.  It's possible that a spare site could be made available - check with your area marshal and they will see if it can be arranged.  

Once the roads are closed there is to be no further traffic movement.  If you find you have become trapped, get a site marshal to help you get out.  Don't just edge out through the pedestrians!


There is no parking within the fair grounds unless you have permission to park on your site. If you want your vehicle on site, you need to make sure it fits within the boundaries of the site or sites you have been allocated.  No parking on private property or carparks within the Fair ground area (See map here).  No parking or setting up additional stall coverage on whet you perceive as 'spare ground'.  

Running your stall

Keep within the bounds set up by marking or by the area marshals.  Don't expand your site during the day, you will be made to pull it in again and if the marshals report poor compliance, you will find it difficult to get a site the following year.

Communicate with the customers.  There are over 500 stalls so there is information overload.  You will need to communicate clearly and often.  Display your goods clearly.  Go out and take a look at your site from a customer perspective.  If you were looking at the site for the first time, would you know what was on sale and how to get it.  Signs must not stick out into the walkways at ground level- there is very little room.  Try signs set up above head height.

Aggressive Hawking 

This is aggressively calling out and soliciting custom from passers by.  Some have resorted to physically restraining passage and/or standing in the walkway confronting shoppers.

This activity negatively impacts neighboring stallholders.  You are not generally directly competing with your neighbors as we try to separate similar products, so the net effect is that shoppers simply avoid walking past your stall and so miss walking by your neighbors.

Packing down and leaving

No one leaves before the roads are opened at 4pm.  This is a safety issue.  

If you sell out before 4pm, do not pack down and attempt to carry your equipment out through the shoppers. Repeated offending will affect your application priority processing in the future.

Please pack down before bringing your vehicle in to pick your gear up.  Don't do it the other way and park your car in the limited space and them take 30min or more to pack straight into your car.  It may seem more economical from your persepective, but it's a major disruption to your neighbors.

Everyone is in a hurry to catch the next ferry or get ahead of the traffic.  Please! be kind, be thoughtful and considerate. You are not the only one wanting to get packed up and get home or to your next appointment/gig/fair.