20 years of the Kāpiti Arts Trail
Celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the Kāpiti Arts Trail with us, where artists across the district open their doors to Kāpiti’s vibrant art scene.
Put these dates into your diary now to see more than 60 artists at work in their studios. Witness creativity in action and learn the stories behind their artworks.
Celebrate 20 years of the Kāpiti Arts Trail!
This year we celebrate the twentieth year of the Kāpiti Arts Trail - two weekends of art immersion offering a rare glimpse into the studio spaces and workings of artists who are listed in the Kāpiti Arts Guide.
Stretching from Paekākāriki in the south (just 45 minutes from Wellington) to Ōtaki in the north, it's the perfect way to check out Kāpiti’s delicious food scene, stunning walks and beaches, and enjoy many superb artists' gardens in Spring on the Trail.
The Arts Trail runs over 7/8 and 14/15 November - entry is free so plan a day or weekend with your family or friends, there's loads of ideas and information on what to do on the beautiful Kāpiti Coast right here on kapiticoastnz.com.
There's something for everyone on the Arts Trail: painting in oils, watercolour or mixed media; fibre arts; ceramics; jewellery; photography; street art; digital art; tattoo; glass; and wood. Many artists will be demonstrating their creative process, and all will have their art available for sale, so come along to support quality New Zealand artists.
Alongside demos, hubs and galleries to visit, this year the Arts Trail also features Index Exhibitions in each area - a chance to get a taste of artists’ artworks in a curated collection before you visit their studio.
You can pick up a beautifully produced Kāpiti Arts Guide with over 78 listings from community centres, libraries, and many other venues from early October, or plan your Trail online through the KCDC website and interactive map.
It's all here in Kāpiti
Right on the beach, Paekākāriki is the southernmost village in Kāpiti. Many actors, dancers, musicians, film-makers, artists and sculptors choose to make this their home, so Paekākāriki always has something exciting going on.
Surrounded by hills, sea and parkland, Paekākāriki is close to a wealth of walks and cycleways. Bike through Queen Elizabeth Park to the Tramways Museum and visit the U.S. Marines memorial. For those after something more challenging, the popular Escarpment Track is not to be missed with stunning ocean, sky and Kāpiti Island views.
Paekākāriki Beach is one of the two beaches on the coast looked after by a Surf Lifesaving club during summer.
Whether you’re arty or active, you’ll find plenty to do in this quirky little village. Nau mai, haere mai, welcome!
Raumati is the Māori word for summer, and summer sure is good here. Raumati South offers a lively and vibrant village experience. Grab a coffee on the go, or sit down and relax at one of the local eateries to listen to a band over a bottle of wine.
Raumati Beach village has a wide array of stores to tempt you. From fashion boutiques to homewares, art and gifts, the village will have you discovering exciting designs that you can only find in Kāpiti. Head across the road to Marine Gardens - home to a fantastic splash pad, plenty of play equipment, a flying fox, and miniature railway rides.
In the evening, check out what’s happening at Kāpiti’s brilliant new performing arts centre, Te Raukura ki Kāpiti. Check out teraukura.nz to see what exciting music and theatre shows are on during your stay.
Raumati Beach is the perfect place to bury your toes in the warm sand and enjoy the sunset on show every evening. Pack a picnic and make the most of this stunning romantic spot, which is unlike any other.
The civic centre of the Coast, Paraparaumu is a thriving and dynamic hub for the community, and is easily accessed from State Highway 1 and Paraparaumu train station. In and around Coastlands Shopping Centre you will find an abundance of shops including homewares, gift shops, clothing and shoe stores and supermarkets.
Craft beer lovers will be in their element, as Kāpiti is the birthplace of New Zealand's well-known brands Tuatara and Duncan’s. Stop in at a brewery to taste their latest creations, enjoy a pint in the sun with your lunch or catch a live gig. If craft beer delights are not for you, pick up a freshly roasted, deliciously smooth coffee from local roasters Dark Horse Coffee – a Kāpiti local favourite.
A beautiful location with a perfect view of Kāpiti Island, Paraparaumu Beach is more than your average seaside village. The recently refurbished Maclean Park, with its amazing new interactive sculpture Tohorā by internationally known artist Kereama Taepa, is an ideal place to entertain the kids, while you savour a coffee. Take a wander through the Paraparaumu Beach Market every Saturday morning and peruse the wares on display from local artisan producers and artists.
Before leaving this beautiful spot take a stroll around the shops on Maclean Street, Marine Parade and Seaview Road, then finish off with some delicious food at one of the many great cafes and restaurants.
Waikanae is considered the garden and bird capital of Kāpiti, and it’s no wonder with Ngā Manu Nature Reserve right on the doorstep and the abundance of birdlife at the Waikanae Estuary. Waikanae also boasts one of the best walking trails in the Greater Wellington Region – the Waikanae River Loop.
When in Waikanae town centre make sure you sample some of Kāpiti's incredible cafes and restaurants, not to mention some locally made craft beers. Head into Mahara Place to see the recently completed mural honouring iconic New Zealand artist Frances Hodgkins, who had links to Waikanae. Mahara Gallery next door provides a carefully curated snapshot of the talented artists in the region.
With spectacular views of Kāpiti island, Waikanae Beach is a popular destination for swimmers, walkers and sunset watchers. Several cafes, restaurants and a bakery provide multiple options for dinner, lunch or a snack while the kids play in the park.
The quiet township of Te Horo is a paradise for gardeners and horse-riders alike. Hyde Park Garden Centre has some hard to find plant varieties, and Lavender Creek Farm is home to 330 different types of lavender.
You can pick your own fruit and vegetables at Penray Gardens, including a huge range of chillies or stop to smell the flowers next door at world renowned South Pacific Roses. Head to the Ruth Pretty café for cake and coffee in the Garden Room before browsing through their incredible Kitchen Shop.
Te Horo was also home for some time to ground-breaking potter Mirek Smíšek whose work influenced many New Zealand potters. His kilns have been protected as part of the Expressway project and can be seen from the main road.
If equestrian is your thing, make the most of the opportunities on offer by bringing your own horse and staying at a local horse B&B or book in for a trek with one of a number of local horse trekking businesses.
While in Ōtaki make time to visit the oldest Māori Anglican church in New Zealand, Rangiatea Church. Ōtaki is the gateway to the Tararua ranges with the many hikes on offer, but there are also many local trails catering to walkers, cyclists and horse riders. Check out Chrystalls Bend, Ōtaki Forks and Ōtaki River walks for examples of the best trails around! Hiking or cycling not your thing? Māoriland Hub showcases superb Māori art at their Toi Matarau gallery as well as hosting the annual Māoriland Film Festival which is world renowned for its quality of indigenous films from around the globe.
Ōtaki Beach is one of the two beaches on the coast looked after by a Surf Lifesaving club during summer and because it is out of the lee of the island, it often provides some fun waves for surfers and body boarders alike.
Want to know more about Kāpiti, need ideas for what to eat or where to stay?
With a multitude of eateries and over 400 accommodation providers (including many baches and B&Bs) you are sure to find what you are looking for on the Kāpiti Coast.