Kapiti Coast, Paraparaumu and Waikanae


This area is renowned by Wellingtowners as an escape from the hustle and bustle less than an hours drive north. Its also a great base for getting outdoors without the crowds further south. Of special note are the amazing sunset and sunrises, definitely worth staying a weekend or two for.

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Raumati Escarpment - Mataihuka Walkway

Mataihuka Walkway This track runs up the escarpment on the opposite side of SH1 from central Paraparaumu. The track is well formed with rewarding views from the stone cairn at the top back over the city and out to the coast. The track is exposed to the weather so pick your day carefully. Access the track from Waterfall Road. NOTE despite some references online, Panorama Rd is private land and doesn't provide access to the northern end of the track.

Time and Difficulty

Allow around 30 minutes one way to the top of the ridge.

Distance and Height

The track is around 1.7km to the stone memorial at the top of the ridge from Waterfall Rd. Waterfall road is around 15m above sealevel and the high point on the ridge is around 195m.

Waikanae River and Estuary track

Waikanae River Track This track meanders down both sides of the Waikanae river and around the lakes on the Northern bank of the Estuary. The track is well built but not very wide and includes two major bridges. You'll probably bump into a number of families out for a ride particularly since this is a good place for youngsters to learn about offroad cycling. The birdlife on the river and in the estuary deserve special mention, it's not unusual to spot rare species as they take a pitstop Lots of roads access the northern bank however the main access is from Tutere St and the Otaihanga Domain at the Western end and SH1 to the east,

Time and Difficulty

Allow around an hour and a half to do the full loop.

Distance and Height

The track is around 13.5km return to SH1 including the lakes near the estuary. The downstream right hand side is 6.5km, the left side is 5km and the lakes add another 2km.

Hemi Matenga Reserve

Himi Matenga What this reserve lacks in area it makes up for in variety with easy wanders through virgin forest to a decent half day loop. The track from Tui Cres and Kakaraiki Gr to the lookout is well graded track, ideal for families or those just getting into bushwalking. For the more adventuous carry on past the lookout and the track turns a little feral but doable for seasoned walkers. The main track runs between Tui Cres and Huia St with a side track joining the main track from Kakaraiki Gr

Time and Difficulty

Allow around an hour and a half to do the full loop including the road trip back to the car.

Distance and Height

The track is around 5.4km one way excluding the road walk back if you only have one car. The track starts at around 85m above sea level and rises up to 510m

Mangaone Walkway

Mangaone Walkway While the Mangaone walkway lacks grand vistas it is one of my favourite longer Wellington walks thanks to the novelty of following an old Tramway (originally used by hardy loggers) and the relatively gentle gradients at both ends. Access is from either North Mangaone Rd or South Mangaone Rd but I usually do the round trip as organising transport can be a @#$%^. DOC says that this track takes 3-4 hours but its doable in half these times if you're reasonably fit.

Time and Difficulty

Allow between 2 and 2.5 hours one way or double that for the return trip.

Distance and Height

The track is around 8km one way and vertical height varies from 140m (at Mangoane Rd South) and 265m at Te-Horo Clearing.
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Pukeatua Track

Pukeatua Track This relatively new track links Otaki Forks and the Akatarawa Road. It is classed as a tramping track but is doable by those with moderate fitness and around half a day spare. The ground trail is a little light in places but the track is well marked with poles and blazers on the trees. The 360 views from Pukeatua itself are spectacular including the Southern Crossing, Kapakapanui and Kapiti Coast stretching up past Levin. It is possible to combine this with the Mangoane Walkway to form a loop but allow all day if this is your plan.

Time and Difficulty

All between 5 and 6 hours if you're on a day trip with a light pack.

Distance and Height

The track is around 13.7km one way and varies between 140m (at Mangoane Rd South) and 812m at the high point Pukeatua.

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