Featherston is the first town into the Wairarapa after descending the Rimutakas out of Wellington. Featherston, Martinborough and Greytown are all frequented by the café set each weekend from Wellington.
Featherstone is increasingly becoming a fringe suburb of Wellington, as the normal commute time is less than hour to the city. The town sees itself as a railway town. Firstly the Rimutaka Tunnel lies just south of the township and gives cause for the daily rail commute for many residents and secondly Featherston has a good Railway Museum.
From the Wikipedia website some interesting early history;
‘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.’
A visit to the Railway is most worthwhile.