Levin Activities You Can’t Miss
Levin is a large characterful town that’s well worth stopping in on your way to or from Wellington! The centre of the town itself is bustling with activity with cafes, shops, a cool little cinema and more! However, we fully recommend exploring a bit further with some delightful lakeside parks and gardens within the town, as well as some real outdoors adventures surrounding the town in the Tararua Ranges! If you’re not quite sure where to start on experiencing Levin, just take a look at our picks of fun things to do in Levin in the list below!
There are many fun experiences to be had in this town built around an agricultural community, such as a farm animal petting zoo and even a winery for traditional-style fruit wine! However, if you want to explore further afield, why not check out the nearby towns of Foxton and Shannon? See our 5 Fun Things to Do in Foxton and 5 Fun Things to Do in Shannon, for more inspiration.
1. Relax by Lake Horowhenua
The best place to soak up the views of Lake Horowhenua (Punahou), a wetland area rich with birdlife, is at Muaupoko Park. Either go for a stroll in the park or it’s a great spot to let kids run wild in the play area if you’re travelling with kids.
Location: End of Queen St West.
2. Walk at Lake Waiwiri/Lake Papaitonga
Lake Waiwiri (otherwise known as Lake Papaitonga) is an important wetland habitat for native wildlife. The best way to experience the reserve is along the two walking tracks. There’s a 10-minute one-way track taking you to a picnic area and lookout, as well as 20-minute loop track (a side track of the first one) giving you more perspectives of the lake.
Location: 5km (3 miles) southwest of Levin. The track starts at the end of Buller Road.
3. Taste Wines at the Ohau Winery
In New Zealand’s newest wine region, Ohau Winery is a great place to experience the unique characteristics of the wines in the Levin area. Ohau Winery cellar door is open for tastings from Monday to Friday and also on weekends from September to March.
Location: 6 Bishops Road, Ohau. 6km south of Levin.
4. Watch a Movie at a Boutique Cinema
Enjoy a boutique cinema experience at the Focal Point Cinema! Going to the cinema isn’t just about the movie in Levin. Sit down in a double-seater armchair with a coffee and cake or how about a glass of wine or beer? Watch the latest releases in the setting of a 1920’s themed cinema.
Location: 14-16 Salisbury Street.
5. Hike to the Waiopehu Hut
The majestic landscape of the Tararua Forest Park is right on Levin’s doorstep, so if you love the outdoors, don’t miss this area! A great hike to do is the 4-5 hour one-way hike to the Waiopehu Hut for some amazing views at 800m (2625ft) high! On clear days, you’ll get panoramic views of the Kapiti Coast, Mt Taranaki and even toward Mt Ruapehu. For more awesome walks in the area, take a look at 26 Awesome Hikes Around Palmerston North.
Location: Start the walk at the end of Gladstone Road.
6. Walk or Bike the Kohitere Trig
This is the best downhill mountain biking spot in Levin so isn’t to be missed if you want to get some downhill thrills! Enjoy several intermediate to advanced mountain bike tracks through exotic forest. Alternatively, walk from the car park for about 30 minutes to the top of the trig where you’ll be rewarded with views of the Kapiti Coast, Central North Island volcanoes and more! Find out more about mountain biking in New Zealand in our guide.
Location: Denton Road.
7. Visit the Murrayfield Museum & Cafe
One venue with so much entertainment is the Murrayfield Museum & Cafe. With great photo opportunities in this gorgeous setting overlooking farm paddocks beneath the Tararua Ranges, you’ll be glad you stopped by! Choose from visiting the heritage museum, having a bite to eat at the cafe, checking out the miniature town and petting zoo, and more.
Location: Corner of Potts Road & State Highway 7.
8. Take a Trip to Waitarere Beach
Just a 15-minute drive from Levin is Waitarere Beach – a popular destination for fishing, swimming and leisurely beach strolls. Pick up an ice cream from the local Four Square or have some fish and chips from the Sail On Inn for a classic Kiwi day at the beach.
Location: Waitarere Beach Road, just off State Highway 1.
9. Do a Tasting at the Celtic Winery
It’s wine but not as you would expect it in New Zealand! Celtic Winery makes organic fruit wines made in the old Celtic tradition of patience and working with the seasons. Try ginger wine, mead, plum wine, plum port, cider traditional beer and more! It’s best to call ahead for tastings at their cellar door.
Location: 324 Hokio Beach Road.
[CLOSED] Visit the Thompson House & Gardens
Levin’s answer to the town’s botanical gardens is the historic Thompson House and Gardens. The gardens, complete with rose gardens and other seasonal displays, is open to the public making it a nice place for a walk, take some great photos, or relax and read a book. You can continue your garden exploration to the Remembrance Park right next door.
Location: 4 Kent Street.