Karora on Wikipedia© Karora on Wikipedia
Karora on Wikipedia

7 Best Art Galleries & Museums on the Kapiti Coast

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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. 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. See more activities nearby in the 8 Great Things to Do in Waikanae.

Location: 9 Elizabeth Street, Waikanae.

NZPocketGuide.com© NZPocketGuide.com

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.

 Paul Horn on Flickr© Paul Horn on Flickr

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. For more activities in the area, check out the 8 Excellent Things to Do in Paraparaumu.

Location: Whareroa Road, Queen Elizabeth Park, Paraparaumu.

Vardion on Wikipedia© Vardion on Wikipedia

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.

 Pseudopanax at English Wikipedia© Pseudopanax at English Wikipedia

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. Check out more experiences in the area using the 5 Super Things to Do in Paekakariki.

Location: Adjacent to State Highway 1, Paekakariki.

Karora on Wikipedia© Karora on Wikipedia

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.

Pixabay© Pixabay

7. Toi Mahara

Toi Mahara is the Kapiti Coast’s public art gallery with about ten 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 Tuesday to Sunday, 10am-4pm.

Location: 20 Mahara Place, Waikanae.

Pxhere© Pxhere


The information in this guide has been compiled from our extensive research, travel and experiences across New Zealand and the South Pacific, accumulated over more than a decade of numerous visits to each destination. Additional sources for this guide include the following:

Our editorial standards: At NZ Pocket Guide, we uphold strict editorial standards to ensure accurate and quality content.

About The Author

Laura S.

This article has been reviewed and published by Laura, the editor-in-chief and co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. Laura is a first-class honours journalism graduate and a travel journalist with expertise in New Zealand and South Pacific tourism for over 10 years. She also runs travel guides for five of the top destinations in the South Pacific and is the co-host of over 250 episodes of the NZ Travel Show on YouTube.

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