Explore Kapiti: A Slice of the Sunny Coast
A Slice of the Sunny Kāpiti Coast
Kāpiti Coast – 5 individual villages held together by lush mountains and one stunning long accessible beach.
Many of you may know the Kāpiti Coast for Paraparaumu beach or Kāpiti Island, but just a half an hour drive from Wellington, Kāpiti actually stretches across five settlements. They extend from Paekākāriki to Ōtaki, and each settlement offers its own unique slice of Kāpiti. The beauty of having 5 settlements that connect to the same beach is that you have many ways to enjoy it. Paekākāriki, the first of the five, is lucky enough to share the amazing Escarpment track with Pukerua Bay. An amazing experience that will keep you on the edge literally, whether you want to start from either end. Both ways will give you a scenic landscape to enjoy while climbing 220 metres above sea level. If you love heights and want to try something different compared to your average hike then this is the one for you.
Next up we have Paraparaumu. The more familiar area of the Kāpiti Coast, not just because I used to live there, but because it is the hub of Kāpiti. What do I mean when I say that? You have all your main shopping centres there, it is the largest area in the Kāpiti Coast, and you are also able to enjoy the beach stretching from Raumati to Paraparaumu. You have restaurants and shops right next to the beach too which makes for a great beach day. Or if you fancy catching your dinner there are multiple fishing spots across the beach you can use for longline fishing. Maybe the water is not your thing, maybe you prefer to move away from the coastline, well what do you know there are also trails you can follow if you want to go hiking or biking. Only 5 mins from the village, the reward at the top is worth it when you can see 360 views of the Kāpiti coast and the hills behind it.
Just a quick 10-minute trip from Paraparaumu is Waikanae. Popular for beach holidays, there is also a beautiful nature reserve filled with native birds and plants, which is why Waikanae is often referred to as the Garden and Bird capital of the Kāpiti Coast. There are several great eateries to choose from if you’re just stopping on your way to your destination. Among the trails and scenery, you can find your perfect isolated getaway with Dreamscape Glamping as an alternative way to enjoy paradise overlooking Waikanae and Kāpiti Island.
Like Waikanae, Te Horo is also home to Glamping. Te Horo is more of a quieter township compared to the other settlements in Kāpiti but that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy what it has to offer. Located between Te Horo and Ōtaki is the Lavender Creek Farm, home to over 7,000 Lavender plants, vines and olive trees. That’s not all, giddy up because Te Horo Equestrian offers horse rides along the trails and even on the beach too, presenting you with a unique way to enjoy the Kāpiti Coast.
Finally, right at the end of the Kāpiti Coast is Ōtaki. A place that is seen as the hidden gem of the Kāpiti Coast and even the greater Wellington region due to its many local attractions. Ōtaki has a strong Māori identity with maraes in the area that are home to Māori from the Ngāti Raukawa iwi and a Tikanga Māori tertiary education provider – Te Wānaga o Raukawa. Ōtaki is also home to the oldest Māori Anglican church in New Zealand; Rangiatea Church. After learning about Ōtaki’s rich history, you can explore the many shops or even take your trip to the next level and explore 116,535 hectares of pure scenery in the Tararua Forest Park providing you with landscapes that put New Zealand on the map as the best in the world.
Kāpiti Coast is home to some of the most beautiful attractions in Wellington. What seems like a long way from the city is actually just a 30 – 45 minute drive to get to 5 villages with incredible outdoor activities and culinary delights. Whether you’re looking for culture, beaches, picturesque landscapes or even something new that you never knew you wanted, one thing is for certain; The whole family will enjoy Kāpiti Coast.
By Keenan Rogers