Top ChoiceCafe in Paekakariki

Beach Road Deli

Stocked with home-baked goodies (chubby muffins, bagels, pastrami-stuffed baguettes), this bijou deli and wood-fired pizzeria is heaven-sent for the hungry highway traveller. The coffee's as good as it gets, made...

Cafe in Paraparaumu

Marine Parade Eatery

Conjuring a vaguely Robinson Crusoe–esque look, this chipper cafe offers a sophisticated menu and terrific views of Kāpiti Island out the front window. Roll in for all-day bagels, some spicy chilli lentils with...

Nature Reserve in Waikanae

Ngā Manu Nature Reserve

Waikanae's main visitor lure, Ngā Manu is a 15-hectare bird sanctuary dotted with picnic areas, bushwalks, aviaries and a nocturnal house with kiwi, owls and tuatara. The reserve's endangered long-fin eels get a...

Park in Paekakariki

Queen Elizabeth Park

Queen Elizabeth Park

One of the last relatively unchanged areas of dunes and wetlands along the Kāpiti Coast, this undulating 650-hectare park offers swimming, walking, cycling, picnic spots and healthy-looking seagulls, as well as...

Bistro in Waikanae

Long Beach

Snare a seat in the large conservatory or garden bar at this uptempo, family-friendly cafe-bar – a sunny spot for an afternoon wine or ale, with live tunes on Sundays. The menu meanders from pizzas to daily...

Bistro in Paraparaumu

Pram Beach

Covering a lot of bases (cafe, bar, restaurant, takeaway joint), black-painted Pram Beach is a newcomer to the Paraparaumu waterfront, facing off with the skate park, playground and Kāpiti Island across the...

Craft Beer in Paraparaumu

Tuatara Tap Room

Visit the oldest and most famous of Wellington's craft breweries at its industrial-estate premises, where you can slurp a pint or two and chew some bar snacks (biersticks, nachos, pizzas). Book in advance for a...

Forest in Waikanae

Hemi Matenga Memorial Park Scenic Reserve

This 330-hectare reserve overlooking Waikanae contains a large remnant of native kohekohe forest. The reserve rises steeply from 150m to its highest point, Te Au (514m), a steep hike of three to four hours on the...

Pub Food in Paraparaumu

The Social

Despite its insalubrious location in a car park near the mall, this breezy modern pub is a good place to drink, watch the rugby or catch a band. The food's surprisingly ambitious too, featuring the likes of jerk...

Statue in Paraparaumu

Our Lady of Lourdes Statue

Paraparaumu's oddest claim to fame is surely this 14m-high statue of the Madonna, looming over the town from a 75m-high hill. It was commissioned by the local Catholic priest in 1958 for the 100th anniversary of...

Museum in Paraparaumu

Southward Car Museum

This huge hangar-like museum looks like a 1960s university but houses one of Australasia’s largest collections of antique and unusual cars. Check out the DeLorean, the German-built 1897 Lux and the 1950 gangster...

Cafe in Paraparaumu

Ambience Cafe

This very ‘Wellington’ cafe delievers both light and substantial meals made with relish: fishcakes, BLTs, salads, sandwiches, colourful vegie options… The cake cabinet's at full capacity, and there's great coffee...

Museum in Paekakariki

Wellington Tramway Museum

A glimpse into historic Wellington by way of restored wooden trams and museum displays housed in a large garage. Take a 2km tram ride through Queen Elizabeth Park down to the beach and back.