Kapiti Coast Art Galleries and Museums
Whether you’re craving a bit of culture or looking for the perfect rainy day activity, the Kapiti Coast museums and art galleries are a great thing to do! The Kapiti Coast is home to six museums showcasing the best of heritage vehicles and way of life, and one fantastic art gallery offering insight into the Kapiti culture. We’ll go through the best of them in this list of art galleries and museums on the Kapiti Coast.
For more things to do in between museum-hopping, check out our 10 Must-Dos on the Kapiti Coast, as well as our Kapiti Coast – Guide for Backpackers. Finally, for more museums, see 12 Free Art Galleries & Museums in Wellington.
1. Kapiti Coast Museum
Situated inside the quaint old Waikanae Post Office, the Kapiti Coast Museum is packed with relics from the pioneering era. Each display is an insight into the everyday life of the district’s early settlers. The museum is open Friday 1pm-4pm and weekends 2pm-4pm.
Location: 9 Elizabeth Street, Waikanae.
2. Southward Car Museum
Petrolheads cannot miss the Southward Car Museum! Check out some of the world’s rarest and most valued vehicles in the world situated right here in Paraparaumu! It’s hard to not be impressed by this private automotive collection. The museum is open daily 9am-4.30pm. (While you’re in Paraparaumu, don’t miss Paraparaumu Beach with great views of Kapiti Island! Find out more in our list of 10 Wellington Beaches You Can’t Miss).
Location: Otaihanga Road, Otaihanga, Paraparaumu.
3. Tramway Museum
Tramways are a much-loved method of transport and some of the finest examples are at the Tramway Museum in Queen Elizabeth Park. Ride on an original tram from Wellington through Queen Elizabeth Park and even check out the tram used in the King Kong movie. The museum is open weekends 11am-3pm.
Location: Whareroa Road, Queen Elizabeth Park, Paraparaumu.
4. Steam Incorporated
Check out the latest projects of this group of railway enthusiasts at their Paekakariki workshop. Steam Incorporated restore heritage locomotives and railway equipment as they were during the 1950s and 60s. The best time to visit is on Thursdays and Saturdays. Look out for North Island railway excursions they host throughout the year. (For more information on seeing New Zealand by train, check out Train Network in New Zealand).
Location: 219 State Highway 1, Paekakariki.
5. Paekakariki Station Museum
The Paekakariki Station was built in 1910 and was once so busy that a 17-room hostel was built nearby just to home the girls serving tea! Learn about the lively heritage of this railway station at the Paekakariki Station Museum with memorabilia on display in the old refreshments room. The museum is open weekends 11am-3pm.
Location: Adjacent to State Highway 1, Paekakariki.
6. Otaki Museum
Discover this small town’s rich history in the Otaki Museum. Old photos, newspapers and exhibits showcase early pioneer stories. The museum is open Thursday to Saturday 10am-2pm during exhibits.
Location: 49 Main Street, Otaki.
7. Mahara Gallery
The Mahara Gallery is the Kapiti Coast’s public art gallery with about six different exhibits on display per year. You’re bound to find a wide range of art media and themes on display from contemporary works to cultural heritage-based projects. The gallery is open Thursday to Saturday 10am-4pm and Sunday 1pm-4pm.
Location: 20 Mahara Place, Waikanae.