An arty day out in Ōtaki

Not only is Ōtaki a hub for ceramics, it is also renowned for some of the best indigenous art in the lower North Island


Jennifer Turnbull: Jailhouse Studio and Garden

3 Iti Street, Ōtaki

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Drawing inspiration from New Zealand’s landscape, her beautiful garden, and from the history of pottery making, Jennifer creates unique ceramics both decorative and for everyday use in the home. Jennifer has spent more than 30 years as a ceramic artist and teacher, and has exhibited all around New Zealand winning several national and regional awards for her work.

Kim Kobialko - Studio Reset

Creating sustainable eco-friendly original artwork with photos and encaustic art - an ancient wax based painting technique.


There are many more artists in this area - see who they are, and where they are based in the 2021/22 Kāpiti Arts Guide.


Gorge Cafe

50 Riverbank Rd, Otaki

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With a delicious menu using predominantly local produce and some of the best coffee on the Kāpiti Coast, Gorge Cafe is a great place for brunch, lunch or dinner. Based in Ōtaki, the cafe is the perfect stop as you explore the northern parts of the region!  Can't decide from the menu? Check out the amazing cabinet food or mix-and-match from the sides to make your own perfect meal. A great place to soak up the vibes while you try a locally-crafted, award-winning Elemental Cider.

Feeling hot and bothered? Grab a sorbet or gelato to eat in or takeaway. Delicious! 

Gorge Cafe

Ōtaki Kitchen

30 Main Street, Otaki

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Located in the heart of historic Ōtaki village, the Ōtaki Kitchen is a wonderfully cosy boutique cafe/restaurant serving a delicious range of a la carte and counter food.

Situated in the Family Hotel building, which was completed in 1881, the interior is a modern nod to bygone times while the simple yet clever combinations of flavours and textures make dining here a delight. Courtyard dining next to the recently re-furbished Civic Theatre provides a fabulous way to watch the world pass by. 

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Ruth Pretty's Garden Room Cafe & Cooking School

41 School Road, Te Horo

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Pretty by name and nature, Ruth's place is a foodie's delight. Open Tuesday to Sunday 9am to 4pm, Ruth Pretty's kitchen shop and Garden Room Cafe is locally famous for their coffee and cake deal. Set in a rustic glass-covered outdoor area it is the perfect place to unwind.  The locals make a beeline for the Ginger Gems!

You're not a true foodie until you've graduated from one of Ruth's Cooking school classes! 

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Ruth Pretty's Garden Room


Littel Otaki

With 10 generously sized and well-appointed rooms, including studio units, townhouse-type units, and four large two-bedroom apartments, Littel Ōtaki is everything a traveller could want in a motel. The style is evident, from the colourful etchings on the roadside wall contrasting with the concrete, to the classy furniture in the rooms. 

Booking prior to arrival is essential as check-ins at Littel Ōtaki are automated.

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Kāpiti Glamping - Te Hapua Wetlands

227 Te Hapua Rd, Te Horo

Kāpiti Glamping's Te Hapua Wetlands tent, which sleeps up to five, is the ideal family or group accommodation in a very special setting. The tent sits next to a wetland lake - one of New Zealand's most rare and precious ecosystems and recognised locally as an area of special significance.

Decked out with a luxurious 4-poster queen bed, a bunk room containing 3 single beds, and lots of comfortable seating - everything has been thought of for comfortable glamping. A spacious verandah to the front of the tent is a great gathering space for socialising and watching the wetland wildlife in comfort.

In the evening kick back, relax, and jump in the hot tub (big enough for the whole family) for some soaking and star-gazing.

If you like the look of this, have a look at Kāpiti Glamping's Te Hapua Coastal site!

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Local Secret: Accommodation

Like many places Kāpiti has a selection of accommodation options including hotels, motels and campgrounds.

What many people don't know is that unlike many places Kāpiti has a huge number of reasonably priced, high quality peer-to-peer accommodation - with 500+ properties listed at any one time!

From beach baches to horse BnBs, glamping to 5-star luxury lodges you won't be disappointed with the range of accommodation options in Kāpiti. 

Have a look at Air BnB Kāpiti or Bookabach to find the stay that is just right for you.


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