On the town
"They're a lovely, fun, raucous audience. It's always the first venue that sells out."
- Tami Neilson on playing in Paekākāriki
Paekākāriki attracts musicians who would never play any other town of this size - it has some of the best gigs you are ever likely to go to. The town has hosted dub, ska, country, reggae, rock, klezmer and various unclassifiable acts, from as far away as Australia, Germany, Switzerland, Hawaii and Hamilton, leading to the town being dubbed ‘The Lyttelton of Wellington’. SEE WHAT'S ON — Visit our calendarIf you've got a public event or gig email us with the details and we'll add you to the calendar.
St Peter’s Hall is the premier venue for rock, reggae, country & western and folk gigs, the Memorial Hall mostly hosts classical and jazz concerts, in particular the annual Mulled Wine Concerts series. There’s been the odd gig at the Scout den in Campbell Park, the Surf Club on The Parade and the Bowling Club on Wellington Road, and outdoor gigs in Campbell Park. For news of upcoming gigs see our calendar or check our Facebook page. Or join Janet Holborow’s What's On Community Notices e-mail list. Look for posters around the village shops, chalked signs on the board by St Peter’s Hall, and on the wall by the public toilets on Beach Road. Gigs are also advertised in the local papers (Kapiti Observer and the Kapiti Mail) and St Peter’s Hall has an online calendar detailing gigs and other upcoming events. Also listen for updates in the community notices section on the Te Pae current affairs show on Paekakariki FM 12noon and 6pm daily.
- Popular gigs often sell out, advance tickets are sometimes available online at Undertheradar.co.nz or in person at the Fruit & Veg shop on Beach Road.
- If you live here going to see the bands playing is a way to contribute to keeping this scene alive. It won’t cost you much, and at best you’ll have an unexpectedly great time. Especially if you get up and dance.St Peter's Village Hall from Science Films NZ on Vimeo
Films, museums, and galleriesLook out for the occasional community film screenings at St Peter’s Hall as well, where a projector is available for hire. The Paekakariki Station Museum in the railway station has displays of railway and local history and is open weekends and public holidays from 11 am to 3 pm. Alan Wehipeihana’s Paekākāriki Art Studios gallery, upstairs next to the garage on Beach Road is open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, 10am-4pm, or contact Alan here. Up by the MacKays Crossing entrance to Queen Elizabeth Park, the Tramway Museum is open weekends, public holidays, and Boxing Day to Wellington Anniversary Day for visits and tram rides to the beach. You can grab an ice cream from the ticket kiosk, too. At the northern end of the railway yards is the Steam Incorporated locomotive museum which has regular excursions in steam and antique diesel-hauled trains and occasional open days. Steam locos can often be seen shunting around in preparation for the longer trips.
Other amusementsSee the calendar for community events such as the annual Scout Group Quiz Night– the highlight some say of the Paekākāriki winter social season – school plant sales and galas and the Playcentre Bonanza. Being a small town, we often have to make our own fun through such things as loud parties, watching model aircraft fly at the Kapiti Aeromodellers Club in Queen Elizabeth Park and repainting the Beach Road zebra crossing rainbow-coloured in the dead of night. If you want to toast marshmallows and sausages, you can apply for a beach fire permit. Orca fans should sign up to the Kapiti whale and dolphin watch Facebook page for reports of nearby sightings.
Public holidays: 11am-3pm
027 446 6504
021 422 633
Other days by appointment