The region takes its name from Kapiti Island, a nature sanctuary surrounded by marine reserve. In the early 19th Century this was the redoubt of the wily Te Rauparaha, who made it his base for trade and conquest. These days it’s the home of some of New Zealand’s rarest birds, who live in the regenerating bush. Visits can be arranged with licensed tour operators – you’ll need to book in advance.
The Kapiti Coast region extends along State Highway 1 from Paekakariki to Otaki. Each township boasts superb beaches and easy commuting by rail or road to Wellington. No wonder many Wellingtonians choose to live here and work in the capital, with others keeping holiday homes in the region.
As a visitor you’ll want to make the most of lifestyle attractions. Here are some thought-starters.
Visit the Southward Car Museum in Paraparaumu. Explore two and a half floors of rare and unique vehicles from all eras. It’s the southern hemisphere’s largest private car collection, so automobile enthusiasts will be in heaven.
Sample the ales at one of the country’s most acclaimed craft breweries, Tuatara in Paraparaumu. A four-beer flight is a great way to stimulate the palate, and there’s pizza available too. Craft beer and piping hot pizza – does it get any better?
Walk off your lunch and any other indulgences on one of the Kapiti Coast’s scenic tracks. The Paekakariki Escarpment Walkway is a real workout but you’ll be rewarded with awe-inspiring views at the top.
Get your heart pumping with a guided quad bike adventure. Traverse rocky river beds, scramble along old logging tracks and blast through mud as you explore the bush. Combine it with archery or clay pigeon shooting for even more adrenaline.