Local Secrets: Top trails in Kāpiti
If you know Kāpiti you know it has phenomenal trails for walking, cycling and horse riding. But which ones are the favourites of the locals…?
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.
See the recent review here: Walking the Escarpment Track
For the latest information on the status of the track (including any closures) see: www.teararoa.org.nz/before-you-go/alerts-and-trail-status
Waikanae River Trail Loop
7.5km | Suitable for: cycling, walking, horse riding
A beautiful, mostly shaded walk from Waikanae to Waikanae Beach via the Waikanae River.
Park on the north bank of the Waikanae River at the Tutere Street entrance by Waikanae Beach, take the gentle route along the north bank towards the old SH1. Come back towards the beach on the south bank, crossing the footbridge at Otaihanga Domain.
Look out for diverse bird life and swimming spots.
Horse float parking and mounting blocks are available at the Greenaway Rd entrance, Waikanae.
3.5km north of Paekākāriki. From State Highway 1, take the Mackay's Crossing exit to Queen Elizabeth Park.
Pack a picnic and enjoy a day out at this shared recreation reserve near Paekākāriki. It doubles as a working farm and network of walking, mountain biking and horse riding trails through retired pastureland, native bush, and wetlands.
With eight different trails on offer and links to the adjoining Akatarawa Forest and Queen Elizabeth Park, this is the perfect spot to pack a picnic and enjoy a day out in an area of uninterrupted natural beauty.
The mountain biking trails within the park are continually being developed by the Kāpiti Mountain Bike Club. Keys for horse bridleways are available by prior arrangement with the Kāpiti Coast District Council.
Horse float parking is available at the main farm entrance, Mackays Crossing.
Wharemauku Stream Paraparaumu
2km | Suitable for: cycling, walking, pram friendly
Paraparaumu, Raumati Beach
An easy path for walkers and cyclists that runs between Paraparaumu Town Centre and Raumati Beach, and connects to the Kāpiti Cycle Route - Expressway shared pathway. You can also connect to Paraparaumu Beach via the fork in the track near the end of the airport runway. Public buses connect Paraparaumu to Raumati Beach and Paraparaumu to Paraparaumu Beach, providing options for your return journey.
Parking is available by the library in Rimu Road.
Mataihuka Walkway (Raumati Escarpment)
33 Waterfall Rd, Paraparaumu
2km | Suitable for: walking only. Bikes and horses are prohibited.
Enjoy extensive coastal reviews and regenerating native bush on this short, and steep in places, walk. Access the Mataihuka Walkway via the Raumati Escarpment Reserve - 0.5km up Waterfall Road off SH1.
From the car park on Waterfall Road, follow the track 15mins up to the June Rowland lookout. Continue along the ridgeline to the stone cairn. Return along the same route.
Kapiti Island - to summit
7.6km | Suitable for: Walking
Authorised operators provide transport and tours of Kapiti Island. The island is a popular destination from spring to autumn, so bookings for the popular summer season need to be made well in advance. Private boats may not land at Kapiti Island Nature Reserve.
Once you arrive on the Island, the trail to the summit is clearly signposted. You’ll walk to Tuteremoana along a well-formed track with a steady uphill climb, then pass a picnic area and hihi feeding station further along. You’ll encounter Kākā, Kōkako, Takahē and Hihi, meander along scenic trails lined with dense native forest, and take in panoramic views across the Cook Strait and the Wellington region.