Top 5 Things To Do on the Kapiti Coast

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If you're planning a trip to New Zealand, then the Kapiti Coast is a must-visit destination.  Located just an hour's drive from Wellington, this coastline boasts stunning natural beauty, rich cultural history, and a friendly community.

Here are our top 5 things to do on the Kapiti Coast.

1. Explore the Stunning Kapiti Island Nature Reserve

If you're a nature lover, then the Kapiti Island Nature Reserve is the perfect place to explore.  The island, located off the coast of New Zealand, is a haven for native wildlife.  During your visit to Kapiti Island, you'll have the opportunity to see some of New Zealand's rarest and most endangered species.  The island is home to the little spotted kiwi, a flightless bird that was once thought to be extinct.  Thanks to conservation efforts, the population of little spotted kiwi on Kapiti Island has grown, making it one of the best places in the world to see these elusive birds.

In addition to the little spotted kiwi, Kapiti Island is also home to takahe, a large flightless bird that was once thought to be extinct, and kaka parrots, known for their striking green and red feathers.  If you're lucky, you may even spot a seal or dolphin in the surrounding waters.  Kapiti Island is surrounded by a marine reserve, making it a great spot for snorkeling and diving.

The guided walks and tours offered by the Department of Conservation are a must-do.  The guides are knowledgeable and passionate about the island's flora and fauna, and they'll happily share their knowledge and stories with you.  During your tour, you'll learn about the history of Kapiti Island and the conservation efforts that have helped to preserve its unique ecosystem.  You'll also have the opportunity to see some of the island's rarest plants and animals up close.  One of the highlights of the guided tours is the chance to visit the Kapiti Island Nature Reserve's bird sanctuary.  Here, you'll be able to see a wide variety of native birds in their natural habitat, including the tui, bellbird, and kereru.

2. Relax on the Beautiful Beaches

No trip to the Kapiti Coast would be complete without a visit to its beautiful beaches.  The Kapiti Coast is home to some of the most stunning beaches in New Zealand.  The sound of the waves and the salty breeze will leave you feeling rejuvenated and refreshed.

Paraparaumu Beach is a long, wide stretch of golden sand, perfect for sunbathing, swimming, or just taking a leisurely stroll.  The beach is a popular spot for kiteboarding, windsurfing, and surfing, with good waves for both beginners and pros.  The beach is also great for a game of beach volleyball or frisbee.  If you're lucky, you might even spot some dolphins playing in the waves. 

The beach is surrounded by a range of cafes and restaurants, where you can grab a bite to eat or a refreshing drink.  The beach is also home to a range of events throughout the year, including beach volleyball tournaments, kiteboarding competitions, and live music events.

Raumati Beach is a more secluded option, with calm waters and beautiful views across the bay.  The beach is perfect for a romantic picnic or a day out with the family.  Take a picnic and spend the day relaxing in the sun, or stroll along the palm tree-lined coastline.  The beach is also great for swimming, kayaking, and paddleboarding. 

If you're feeling adventurous, you can take a short walk to the nearby Raumati South Beach, which is a popular spot for fishing and surfing.  The beach is also home to a range of wildlife, including seals and seabirds.

3. Take a Scenic Walk or Hike

If you're in the mood for some exercise, then the Kapiti Coast has some wonderful hiking trails and scenic walks for you to explore.
  • The Paekakariki Escarpment Track is a stunning 10km trail that offers panoramic views of the coast and the Kapiti Island. It's a challenging hike, but the views are worth every step.
  • Queen Elizabeth Park is a great option if you're looking for a more leisurely walk.  The park offers several walks of varying lengths, and you can spot wildlife like tui, fantail, and kereru as you stroll through the park's native forest.

4. Visit the Southward Car Museum

If you're a petrol-head, or even just a history buff, then a visit to the Southward Car Museum is a must.  The museum boasts an impressive collection of over 400 classic cars and motorcycles, dating from the 1800s to the present day.  The collection includes rare and unique vehicles, such as the 1901 Napier, the 1922 Leyland, and the famous 1959 Cadillac ambulance used by Elvis Presley.

The museum also hosts special exhibits and events throughout the year, such as the Vintage Day, the American Car Show, and the British and European Car Show.

5. Enjoy Local Cuisine and Cafes

When it's time to take a break from all the sightseeing, there are several great options for food and drink on the Kapiti Coast.

The Marine Parade Eatery at Paraparaumu Beach is a popular spot for brunch or lunch.  Situated right on the beach, it offers stunning views of the ocean and Kapiti Island.  The menu is full of delicious, fresh, and locally sourced ingredients, and caters to a range of dietary requirements.

The Raumati Social Club is a great option for dinner or drinks.  The restaurant and bar serve up tasty cocktails, craft beer, and locally sourced produce.  The menu is a fusion of global cuisine, with a focus on seasonal ingredients and creative flair.


Whether you're a nature lover, a beach bum, a history buff, or a foodie, there are plenty of activities akong the Kapiti Coast to keep you busy.  So why not plan your visit today and discover all that this wonderful coastline has to offer?