With something for everyone Ōtaki is the ultimate Kāpiti destination. Take the weekend and explore the unique Māori heritage, take the kids fishing at the estuary, get adventurous in Ōtaki Gorge or shop 'til you drop in the outlet stores and township.

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A small town with a long history and strong Māori identity

Since the early 19th century, the area has been home to Māori of the Ngāti Raukawa iwi who migrated from the Kāwhia area from about 1819, under the leadership of the chief Te Rauparaha. Today, Otaki is home to Te Wānanga o Raukawa - a tikanga Māori tertiary education provider, and the town is working hard to become bi-lingual.

You can explore Māori heritage including the oldest Māori Anglican church in New Zealand, Rangiatea Church, by taking a self-guided walking tour of important Māori heritage sites on the Pipi Trail. You can pick up a Pipi Trail leaflet at the library on Main St in Ōtaki or at the small Ōtaki Museum where you can also discover the town's history.

The Māoriland Film Festival attracts thousands of people to this showcase of indigenous films from New Zealand and around the world. Over the past six years, the festival has grown to be the largest presenter of Indigenous screen content in the Southern Hemisphere with a year-round programme of events.

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Maoriland Film Festival
Maoriland sign outside Nga Purapura

Māoriland Film Festival

68 Main Street, Otaki

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16 - 20 March, 2022

Every year, for five days in March, Ōtaki is home to the largest Indigenous Film Festival in the southern hemisphere.

Films by Indigenous storytellers from all over the world are presented at Māoriland Film Festival - a film festival for anyone interested in travelling or seeing the world through someone else's eyes.

At Māoriland you will be transported around the globe to where the stories of places and people will intrigue and amaze. Enjoy films, art, emerging technology, industry workshops and kōrero and more! Meet the filmmakers and join the circle of Indigenous cinema.

Nau mai haere mai - we’ll see you there!

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Māoriland Film Festival

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otaki outlets

Shop 'til you drop

Ōtaki is known for the amazing shopping on offer both in the outlet stores on SH1 and in boutique stores in the village. For a different taste of culture, try the art and craft cooperative Artscape. The co-operative features pottery, quilting and textiles, paintings, mixed media, willow work, felting, jewellery, photography, and gift cards.

As well as retail stores, the Ōtaki area has a number of fruit and vegetable markets where you can purchase fresh seasonal produce, delicious preserves, sweet treats and even grab a coffee. Take the kids and pick your own strawberries, apples, chillies and more when they are in season! Penray Gardens and Brown Acres are just two of the properties that have been serving the Kāpiti Coast community and continue to make “the healthy delicious stuff affordable” (Brown Acres).


Ōtaki Beach

One of the two Surf Lifesaving New Zealand patrolled beaches on the Kāpiti Coast, in the summer months Ōtaki Beach is not only fantastic for families, but it is also popular with surfers, sea kayakers, SUP boarders and boaties.

Well known for the variety of swells the beach gets due to it being north of Kapiti Island the conditions vary from glassy, flat swimming conditions to wind-swept waves.  It is an ever-changing beach that offers something for everyone.

Every February Ōtaki Beach hosts the iconic Ōtaki Kite Festival when the whole beach comes alive with colourful kites, market stalls, entertainment and families galore.

Facilities next to the Surf Club include: car parking, toilets, changing rooms, BBQs and picnic tables.

At the South end of Ōtaki Beach, the stony Ōtaki River mouth and estuary area is a popular spot for surf casting and provides spectacular views from the ocean to the mighty Tararua Ranges. Walkers, horse riders and intrepid cyclists can travel the almost 7km trail from the Ōtaki River to the Ohau River in the north.  Alternatively, walk upriver following the 5.4km Ōtaki River trail - you're sure to find a great swimming spot along the way!

Ample horse float parking is available along Marine Parade at the end of Rangiuru Road.

Read more about the Ōtaki Beach Trail

Otaki Beach Surf Lifesaving Club
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Get out and about

Kids will enjoy Haruātai Park with its swimming pool and outdoor splash pad. The estuary at the beach is also a great, easy place for children to catch their first fish. Or head to the Loco Miniature Railway just north of the town.

There are many trails on offer in the area that cater to all levels of experience as well as for walkers, cyclists and equestrian users. Check out Chrystalls Bend, Ōtaki Forks and Ōtaki River walks for examples of the best around!

Hiking or cycling not your thing? Established in 1901, Ōtaki Golf Club is the oldest Golf Club on the Kāpiti Coast. The club welcomes new members and caters for visiting groups as well as casual players wanting to take advantage of one of the cheapest rounds of golf on the Coast.

The Ōtaki-Māori Racing Club is now the only Māori racing club in New Zealand, and possibly one of a few truly indigenous horse racing clubs in the world. The club has enjoyed a long, colourful and successful history since its establishment in 1886. You don't have to be a racing-enthusiast to enjoy the races at this beautiful course. They also offer kids entertainment, top-notch food carts, music, and much more! So bring the kids and grandparents along for a great day out, throughout the year.


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