Paekākāriki Escarpment Track

Part of the national Te Araroa Trail, by which walkers travel the length of New Zealand from Cape Reinga to Bluff, the Paekākāriki Escarpment Track is a 9.1km walk offering some of the most spectacular views on the Kāpiti Coast.


Loved by locals and visitors alike, the Paekākāriki Escarpment Track is one of the top 5 walks in the Greater Wellington region. 

Not for the faint of heart (or those with vertigo), the track climbs rapidly,  reaching 220m above sea level at its peak. Work to build the track rack began as an idea in 1997 and was completed in 2016. 

Escarpment island

Paekākāriki Escarpment Track

9.1km | 3-4 hours | Suitable for: Walking, TRAIL RUNNING

Paekākāriki - Pukerua Bay

Take in spectacular views of Kapiti Island from high above the Kāpiti Coastline on one of the region’s finest walking experiences.

The Paekākāriki Escarpment Track runs from Paekākāriki to Pukerua Bay, taking in sweeping views of the spectacular Kāpiti Coastline and the region’s famous Kapiti Island.

For the latest information on the status of the track (including any closures) see:

Full Track Details - Find Your Wild

Visit the Wellington Regional Trails "Find Your Wild" website to see full details on walking this iconic Kāpiti trail.

Find Your Wild


From natural vegetation to native lizard populations and finally the track itself, this Porirua and Kāpiti Coast trail has been invigorated by the hands of hardworking volunteers.

Read more

Te Araroa Paekakariki Escarpment Walk_women walking on the swing bridge with stunning view


The locals all know that the best way to walk the track is from North to South - and here is why:

  • There is ample parking in Paekākāriki - find a spot and leave your car safely for the day.
  • Use the toilets before you leave and grab extra snacks from the Village Store before heading up the track.
  • The steepest climb is first so it is done and dusted early in the walk, leaving you fresh enough to really enjoy the rest of the walk
  • You're not walking into the sun - which makes for great photos and reduces the sunburn factor.
  • When you get to the end, jump on a train and head back to Paekākāriki for lunch or well-deserved ice cream.
  • Add the icing to your cake - pop down to the beach and take a swim to top off a perfect day.
Beach Road Deli 1

Beach Road Deli

5 Beach Rd, Paekakariki

View map

Beach Road Deli is the Paekākāriki locals' pantry and caffeine hub. Using a fair trade organic Wellington roasted coffee by The Immigrants Son, they thrive on making deluxe coffee.

Their baker is up at the crack of dawn, baking fresh rolls and baked goods. With the majority of baking done on site, you can be sure it is just how your nana baked with no nasties or additives. Handmade artisan goodness at its finest.

Beach Road Deli

Perching Parrot

7 Beach Road, Paekakariki

View map

Great little cafe/coffee house right next to the best swimming beach on the Kāpiti Coast with plenty of outside seating to watch the world go by. With specials and delicious counter food, it's the cafe to go to in Paekākāriki.

Perching Parrot

143071448 3659869294103641 3081835737093862185 n
Picnic at Paekakariki Beach by Queen Elizabeth Park
Fishing at Paekakariki Beach

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.