Must Visit Beaches

Whether it's splashing amongst waves, feeling the sand between your toes, watching the sunset over Kapiti Island or horse riding along the beach, the more than 40 kilometres of coastline on the Kāpiti Coast has you spoilt for choice.

Paekākāriki Beach

Nestled between the sea and hills, Paekākāriki Beach is a popular choice for swimmers, surfers and bodyboarders alike, and has some great fishing spots. Safe swimming is available at the north end of The Parade where the Paekākāriki Surf Lifeguards patrol during the summer months.

Adjacent to the northern tip of the beach lies Queen Elizabeth Park an ideal place to explore, walk, cycle or horse ride the multiple tracks on offer. For an old school summer holiday look no further than Paekākāriki Holiday Park. Hungry? Head to Beach Road Deli and The Perching Parrot in the village, or family-friendly Paekākāriki institution Fishermans Table for a bite.

Facilities include: Car parking, toilets and changing rooms.

Raumati Beach

Translated from the Māori word Summer, Raumati lives up to its name.

A vast sandy beach, Raumati is popular for swimming, walking, kayaking and other water sports.

Pack a picnic or grab some fish and chips and make the most of the beachfront park at Marine Gardens. Home to a fantastic splash pad, miniature railway and playground. Set amidst beautiful trees and flower beds, there are picnic tables offering both sunshine and shade.

Spend the day with the family or grab your friends and soak up the laid-back coastal village atmosphere while exploring the nearby boutiques for some retail therapy.

Facilities include: Car parking, toilets and changing rooms.

Paraparaumu Beach

The largest of the seaside villages, Paraparaumu Beach is a popular family destination with safe-swimming, family-friendly facilities and easy access.

Walk, scooter, skate or bike along the paved beachside path, or make a day of it and let the kids run wild at Kāpiti favourite, Maclean Park - home to a marine-themed playground, large skate park and basketball hoop, the park has BBQ facilities and plenty of grassy spaces to picnic.

For those looking to enjoy a day on the water, Kāpiti Boating Club offers a well-marked boat launching access area. Kapiti Island Nature Tours and Kapiti Island Eco Tours provide seasonal tours to Kapiti Island that launch from the Boat Club.

Beyond the beach, you’ll find an array of shops, cafes, restaurants, holiday accommodation and a bustling Saturday market with local produce, arts and crafts and buskers.

Facilities include: Car parking, toilets, changing rooms, water fountains.

Waikanae Beach

A popular destination for swimming, fishing, kayaking, kite surfing and sand sailing, Waikanae Beach has something to offer the whole family.

Stroll along the wide sandy beach, stop and play at the beach-side park or play a round of tennis at the courts next door.

Explore the Waikanae Estuary – one of New Zealand’s most nationally-significant native habitats for over 60 species of birds and many freshwater and marine fish species. Tours are available via Waikanae Estuary Bird Tours.

Then, once you’ve worked up an appetite, you’re spoiled for choice with tasty eats from Olde Beach Bakery, Long Beach Tavern, The Front Room Coastal Eatery and Tuk Tuk Waimea.

 Facilities include: Car parking, toilets, changing rooms and EV charger.

Peka Peka Beach

Peka Peka may be one of the smallest of the seaside towns, but this secluded, wide sandy beach offers spectacular views, sandy dunes and solitude.

Quiet and tranquil, it is a great spot to sit and relax, walk the dog, or go for a gentle surf while the busy world behind the dunes continues on without you.

In 2011 the beach drew international attention when an Emperor Penguin (the second-ever recorded emperor penguin landing in New Zealand) nicknamed Happy Feet was found on its shores.

Facilities include: Car parking

Te Horo Beach

One of the lesser-known beaches, Te Horo Beach is the perfect escape for those looking for some peace and solitude. A favourite for walkers and horse riders, the Sims Road and Te Horo Bridleway takes you along the dunes, to the Ōtaki River. A must visit when at Te Horo Beach is a local hidden gem, the Bus Stop Café.

For the full unique country experience, book a beach horse trek or a weekend getaway with Te Horo Equestrian Centre and Farmstay.

Facilities include: Car parking, toilets and changing rooms.

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

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