Paekakariki Activities You Can’t Miss
Welcome to Paekakariki, the southernmost village on the Kapiti Coast and only a 35-minute drive from Wellington City! The quaint settlement is an excellent example of a classic New Zealand seaside village with an excellent community. Paekakariki has cafes, a bar, bookshop, dairy (convenience store), a cinema and even its own radio station! You can also find a few speciality shops too so the town itself is well worth having a wander around. However, if you’re looking for more things to do in Paekakariki, you’ve come to the right place!
Paekakariki is surrounded by some of the best walks and views on the Kapiti Coast, as well as hidden gems like its station museum and more! If you’re exploring further up the coast, be sure to check these 10 Must-Dos on the Kapiti Coast of the list!
1. Take in the Views from the Paekakariki Hill Lookout
For what’s often described as the best view of the Kapiti Coast, stop by the Paekakariki Hill Lookout along the Paekakariki Hill Road. The view overlooks the coast all the way to Waikanae with a beautiful silhouette of Kapiti Island.
Location: Lookout stop at the top of the Paekakariki Hill Road.
2. Swim or Stroll at Paekakariki Beach
The Kapiti Coast is all about the beaches. There are around 40km of beaches, in fact! Paekakariki Beach is a great place to feel the sand between your toes. Plus, there’s a good safe swimming spot at the north end of The Parade where the lifeguards patrol the area during summer. For more beaches to check out, see 10 Beaches in Wellington You Can’t Miss.
Location: Paekakariki Beach.
3. Walk or Cycle at Queen Elizabeth Park
At the north end of Paekakariki is the 650ha (1606-acre) of Queen Elizabeth Park. The sand dune landscape packed with regenerating vegetation is packed with walking and cycling tracks, making for a great day out! There are many access points onto the beach too. Maps and information signs at the different entrances to the park indicate all the trails.
Location: Either access the park from the north end of Wellington Road or take the State Highway 1 turn off onto Whareroa Road.
4. Visit the Paekakariki Station Museum
Built in 1910 and beautifully restored, the Paekakariki Station was once a bustling hub of the Wellington region. Learn about the stories and see relics from those early days in the Paekakariki Station Museum in the old refreshments room. The museum is open weekends 11am-3pm. For more museums to check out in the area, see the 7 Best Art Galleries & Museums on the Kapiti Coast.
Location: Adjacent to State Highway 1, Paekakariki
5. Hike the Paekakariki Escarpment Track
Paekakariki is the gateway to what is often considered a highlight of the national Te Araroa Trail (a trail from Cape Reinga in the north all the way to Bluff in the south). The Paekakariki Escarpment Track is 10km long (3-4 hours one way) featuring the “Stairway to Heaven” with awesome views from 220m (722ft) above sea level. There’s a lot of uphills involved so only attempt this walk if you’re fit enough!
Location: Start from either Beach Road, Paekakariki, or the Pukerua Bay shops on State Highway 1.