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Featherston, New Zealand facts for kids

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Fitzherbert Street in Featherston
Fitzherbert Street in Featherston
Country  New Zealand
Region Wellington
Territorial authority South Wairarapa District
Ward Featherston
Founded 1856
Named for Isaac Featherston
 (June 2016)
 • Total 2,390
Time zone UTC+12 (NZST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC+13 (NZDT)
Area code(s) 06

Featherston (Maori: Kaiwaewae) is a town in the South Wairarapa District, in the Wellington Region of New Zealand's North Island. It is at the eastern foothills of Rimutaka Range close to the northern shore of Lake Wairarapa, 63 km (39 mi) north-east of Wellington and 37 km (23 mi) south-west of Masterton.

The town has a population of 2,390 (June 2016). Featherston has increasingly become a satellite town of Wellington since the Rimutaka rail tunnel opened in 1955 on the Wairarapa Line; at the 2006 census, 36% of employed Featherston residents worked in the Wellington metro area.


Featherston was originally called Burlings, after the first settler to the area, Henry Burling.

The Featherston Military Training Camp was a major training camp in World War I. In World War II it became the Featherston prisoner of war camp. The town gained notoriety in 1943 when 122 Japanese Prisoners of War in the camp were shot (48 dead, 74 wounded), after guards believed they were about to be attacked by the prisoners.

Recreation and sport

Featherston houses the world's only surviving Fell locomotive engine in the Fell Engine Museum. A popular local walking track leads to the summit of One Tree Hill (not to be confused with the One Tree Hill in Auckland). More information on town reserves and walks is available from the Featherston Walkways and Reserves Trust.

Featherston has various sporting clubs including the rugby union football club, a hockey club, athletics club, swimming club, football club and an indoor sports complex which hosts various activities such as badminton, gymnastic clubs and as well running wrestling club amongst others.

Sister cities

Featherston is twinned with the Belgian city of Mesen.

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