Top things to do on the Kāpiti Coast

The Kāpiti Coast is a hive of activity, whatever your style you'll find something to entertain you. Here are a few options to inspire.

Ngā Manu Nature Reserve

74 Ngā Manu Reserve Road , Waikanae

View map

Learn about the local Flora & Fauna of the Coast at Ngā Manu Nature Reserve.

Ngā Manu Nature Reserve offers you, your family and visitors a unique opportunity to have a hands-on experience with nature and combines education with a great day out. See New Zealand’s rare brown kiwi in our Nocturnal House and meet native birds in our walk-through aviaries. Watch or participate in feeding endangered long-fin eels, spot native geckos and get up close to the ancient tuatara. Take an easy stroll through one of Kāpiti’s largest remnants of coastal lowland swamp forest in this idyllic bird sanctuary.

Ngā Manu Nature Reserve

Ruth Pretty's Garden Room Cafe & Cooking School

41 School Road, Te Horo

View map

Pretty by name and nature, Ruth's place is a foodie's delight. Open Tuesday to Sunday 9am to 4pm, Ruth Pretty's kitchen shop and Garden Room Cafe is locally famous for their coffee and cake deal. Set in a rustic glass-covered outdoor area it is the perfect place to unwind.  The locals make a beeline for the Ginger Gems!

You're not a true foodie until you've graduated from one of Ruth's Cooking school classes! 

Follow on Facebook

Ruth Pretty's Garden Room

Southward Car Museum

Otaihanga Rd, Paraparaumu

View map

Housing some of the world’s rarest and most valuable vehicles, Southward Car Museum is considered the premier privately owned automotive collection in the Southern Hemisphere.

The grounds include stunning landscaped gardens and lake including a bush walk.

There are regular theatre and music performances, and conference and exhibition facilities are available for hire. Refreshments available from the gift shop. Watch for the annual Open House and Auto Jumble Sale Days, advertised on their website and in the press.

Southward Car Museum

Paekākāriki Escarpment Track

9.1km | 3-4 hours | Suitable for: Walking, TRAIL RUNNING

Paekākāriki - Pukerua Bay

Take in spectacular views of Kapiti Island from high above the Kāpiti Coastline on one of the region’s finest walking experiences.

The Paekākāriki Escarpment Track runs from Paekākāriki to Pukerua Bay, taking in sweeping views of the spectacular Kāpiti Coastline and the region’s famous Kapiti Island.

See the recent review here: Walking the Escarpment Track

For the latest information on the status of the track (including any closures) see:

Full Track Details - Find Your Wild

Queen Elizabeth Park

Queen Elizabeth Park is the perfect spot for a day out. From swimming and fishing, to walking, cycling or horse riding the multiple tracks on offer, there’s plenty to do and explore.

Visit the Wellington Tramway Museum at MacKays Crossing and jump on the tram for a ride to Whareroa beach. 

Steeped in history, the park also includes pa sites at Whareroa and Wainui beaches and evidence of the 20,000 strong US marine camps from World War II.

Better yet why not make a weekend of it and go camping at Paekākāriki Holiday Park.

Read all about the park here:

Explore the coastal trails

The 16.3km (one-way) of off-road, paved trail between Raumati South and Te Horo is popular with cyclists, walkers, runners and horse-riders of all levels. The gradient is gentle and the paved surface makes it ideal for wheelchairs, prams and scooters. The path weaves along the edge of the expressway, around regenerating wetlands, linking the townships of the Coast.

Combine with 5.4km Te Ara of Whareroa (Raumati South to Paekākāriki) and you have over 22km of off-road pathway to explore the Kapiti Coast from.

See the Kāpiti Coast Trails Map


Kāpiti Coast Trails Info

Explore from the air with Kāpiti Heliworx

A perfect experience for the whole family and children of all ages! Explore all of the main landmarks from above including Kapiti Island, the mighty Tararua Ranges, the coast and even Transmission Gully. Departing from Kāpiti Coast Airport, a flight with Kāpiti Heliworx should be on everyone's bucket list!

Have a special occasion? Let the team know and they can help you plan something truly unforgettable!

Kāpiti Heliworx

Take a training flight with Kāpiti Aero Club

Kāpiti Coast Airport, 25 Dakota Road, Paraparaumu Beach

View map

Trial flights are a great way to introduce yourself, a family member or friends to aviation. Nothing compares to the feeling of your first time up in a small plane and having complete control.

The Kāpiti Aero Club offers both standard & aerobatic trial flight gift vouchers in a range of aircraft which can make an excellent birthday or Christmas present.

Learn More

Walking with Alpacas

105 Waterfall Road, Paraparaumu

View map

Cantharis Alpacas is one of the longest-established alpaca farms on the Kāpiti Coast, and it is where hosts Rob and Annemieke provide guided farm tours. During this unique experience, you will learn about these beautiful creatures, and you will have ample time to ask questions.

At the top of the property, you can meet, get close to, enjoy a cuddle and see other alpacas. On the way up and at the top you can also catch the stunning views of the Kāpiti Coast, Kapiti Island, the South Island (on clear days) and beyond. Ensure you have your camera ready to take photos and selfies of you and the alpacas.  With more than 100 5-star Google reviews, bookings are essential for this incredibly popular activity!

Waikanae River Trail Loop

7.5km | Suitable for: cycling, walking, horse riding

A beautiful, mostly shaded walk from Waikanae to Waikanae Beach via the Waikanae River.

Park on the north bank of the Waikanae River at the Tutere Street entrance by Waikanae Beach, take the gentle route along the north bank towards the old SH1. Come back towards the beach on the south bank, crossing the footbridge at Otaihanga Domain. Tree-lined most of the way, large poplars, willows and pines, along with increasing native plantings make this 10km loop walk (with several bridges and opportunities to shorten the walk) a great shaded walk.

Look out for diverse bird life and swimming spots.

Horse float parking and mounting blocks are available at the Greenaway Rd entrance, Waikanae.

Read more about the Waikanae River Loop

Kāpiti Coast Visitor Map

Pick up your free copy from Kāpiti Coast District Council’s libraries, swimming pools or main reception at 175 Rimu Road Paraparaumu. Maps are also available at visitor attractions around the district and the Greater Wellington Region.

 Download the PDF here: Kāpiti Coast Visitor Map


You might like