Flights to Kapiti Coast
Explore the Kapiti Coast and discover an island wildlife sanctuary, soulful surf beaches, a foodie culture and a world-class car museum.
Things to do in Kapiti Coast
Along the west coast north of Wellington, beachside communities from Paekakariki to Otaki have been enjoying a relaxed holiday lifestyle for generations. Nestled between inland ranges and the Tasman Sea, the area has retained its links with nature while developing into sought-after retirement and satellite commuter towns that serve the the capital city.
Long, wide beaches stretch for more than 40km along the Kapiti Coast. With a gentle slope to the sea, they're safe for swimming and perfect for walks or sunset picnics.
Just 5km offshore lies Kapiti Island, a 10km by 2km nature reserve set aside more than 100 years ago for the protection of native plants and birds. Today, the predator-free island is home to some of the world's rarest birds and the air is filled with birdsong as they flit through the native forest and coastal shrub land. Visitor numbers are limited, so book ahead for a ferry to the island and explore the trails for the day or choose an unforgettable daytime or overnight guided experience.
Long, wide beaches stretch for more than 40km along the Kapiti Coast. With a gentle slope to the sea, they're safe for swimming and perfect for walks or sunset picnics. Free from crowds, the beaches also provide a relaxing sanctuary with plenty of sunshine and clean fresh ocean air. If you're interested in fishing or surfing, just ask a local for the best spots and where to hire gear. For some high speed action head to Waikanae Beach and secure a blokart land yacht with an introductory lesson or two.
With forest park ranges, a fertile coastal plain and seaside towns that have a village feel, it's no surprise the Kapiti Coast has a thriving food scene. You'll discover all kinds of markets, cafes and restaurants, where talented chefs make the most of the local fruit, vegetables, cheese, meat and seafood. Treat yourself to a food and wine tour, visit the tasting room at a craft brewery that exports around the world, or extend your culinary skills with a local cooking class.
Car and motorcycle enthusiasts will love the Southward Car Museum at Paraparaumu. The diverse collection of more than 500 rare, vintage and classic vehicles deserves three to four hours of inspection. This review sums it up nicely: "This is one of the most amazing car museums I have ever been to. It contains an absolutely world class collection of vintage cars, alongside some new but fascinating vehicles."
Nature lovers are spoilt for choice on the Kapiti Coast. With easy river walks, trails through parks and hikes up the inland ranges, there's something here for everyone. The Nga Manu Nature Reserve at Waikanae is popular with families. This 14-hectare open sanctuary for more than 60 bird species is funded by visitors and charitable donations. Expect plenty of close encounters and hands-on experiences as you explore the aviaries, nocturnal house with kiwi and tuatara, and the network of paths.
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Best time to go
Sun and rain are spread fairly evenly throughout the year on the Kapiti Coast, so there's a good chance you'll get some gorgeous sunny weather. The average summer high is 22°C, while in winter it's about 13°C. If you plan to enjoy the beaches, aim for late spring, summer or autumn. Spring is a lively time at Kapiti Island, a Department of Conservation bird sanctuary.
How much will it cost?
Not including air travel and hotels, you should allow about NZD $100 to $150 a day per person for food and entertainment.
There are no mandatory vaccinations required for visitors to New Zealand.
Get the most out of your trip with four domestic seat options
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