Paekakariki - Campbell Park skate park with Jacob, Arthur and Louie. Photo copyright Mark Coote.

With the young

At the beach

Building sandcastles and making driftwood sculptures are popular pursuits. For the littlies, Wainui Stream at the north end of the village offers a safe paddling spot. See At the beach for more information.

Campbell Park

Campbell Park is Paekākāriki’s main recreational facility for young people. It is located between Wellington Road and The Parade, a 10-minute walk from the shops or train station. It has a playground suitable for young children with more challenging areas for older children and lots of great trees to climb and banks to play on. The skate park caters for beginners through to moderate skill levels. There are two playing fields for running around and ball sports, and sloping hills perfect for sliding or rolling down. A concrete, albeit rather steep path comes down from Wellington Road at the southern end of the park. Prams can be pushed over the grass up from The Parade or from the grassed northern entrance to the park on Wellington Rd. There are two picnic tables which, depending on the time of the day, provide some shade and also many grassy spots to picnic under the trees. Toilets are located midway down the hill on the main path and at the southern end of the lower sports ground is another public toilet with disability access. Drinking fountains (including one for dogs) are located at the main playground and on the northern exterior wall of Memorial Hall on The Parade. Popular activities include sliding down the hill above the skate park on cardboard, exploring the hill between the upper and lower playing fields, and bush adventures in the trees between the upper field and Wellington Road.

Queen Elizabeth Park

At the north end of Paekākāriki, with its 650 hectares of easy terrain edged by a sandy beach, Queen Elizabeth Park is the jewel in our crown and has plenty of space to enjoy. This is the last area of natural dunes on Kāpiti's coastline and is protected and cared for by Greater Wellington Regional Council. The park is steeped in history including pā sites at Whareroa and Wainui beaches and evidence of the 20,000-strong US marines during World War II. Queen Elizabeth Park has many walking and cycling tracks, easily accessed with a buggy or bike, some linking all the way from Paekākāriki to Raumati South. See walks & rides for more information. Special features include the relatively tame eels at the western end of Wainui Stream on the stream walk, before the Yankee Trail -  take meat scraps to entice them out, and watch your tamariki’s faces light up with wonder at these ancient and almost mythical creatures of the dark. A walk up to the local urupā (cemetery) and the top of Wainui pā offer great views.  If walking, please be aware of cyclists on some of the tracks (especially along Wainui Stream). From Paekākāriki, QE Park can be accessed at the end of Tilley and Wellington Roads, and via the beach past the Surf Club. If coming by train, head north via Tilley or Wellington Road.  This takes you to the end of Paekakariki and the beginning of the park. If driving, go past the shops and turn right into Wellington Road and drive to the beginning of the park. There is ample parking. Queen Elizabeth Park is accessible for buggies and bikes. There are numerous concreted areas for wheelchairs but bear in mind it is mainly a grassed space. Toilets are located at three sites in QE Park – the left-hand side playing fields at the entrance; at the beginning of the road along the beach, and at the main picnic area after the bridge (turn right down the palm boulevard). All have baby change tables and disability toilets. All toilets have drinking fountains for people and dogs, and even a cold outdoor shower. Queen Elizabeth Park has numerous picnic sites and picnic tables, with some in the shade. Picnic sites can be booked for a small fee through Greater Wellington Regional Council.

Mackays Crossing

Further north, at Mackays Crossing entrance, you can find  Wellington Tramway Museum, with historic trams running on the 2km line to Whareroa Beach, and a small shop selling ice creams when the trams are running - Saturday, Sunday and public holidays (except Christmas day) from 11am-4.30pm. There are walks at Whareroa Stream, the bush remnant and wetland.

Other recommended activities at or near the park

  • Floating kowhai seeds down Wainui stream (as they need water in order to germinate and disperse)
  • Theo’s climbing tree (large gum tree at the end of the palm boulevard)
  • Ball play at the fields (Tilley Road and Wellington Road entrances)
  • Scooting, skating and ride-ons at the sports fields car park (north end of Tilley Road)
  • Flying kites

Useful links for activities while in the park

  • Wild Eyes – Nature missions for kiwi kids. Learn nature ninja skills, get crafty, hunt poo and discover amazing stuff outdoors.
  • Nature Watch NZ – Record what you see in nature, meet other nature watchers and learn about the natural world.
  • Check out the Whareroa Guardians page for lots of top information.

Other activities for children

  • A steam train excursion with Steam Incorporated – Paekākāriki
  • The Paekākāriki Station Museum at Paekākāriki Railway Station and Kākāriki Books
  • Paekākāriki Library is at the Tennis Club Rooms, 14 Wellington Road and is open Monday and Wednesday 1.30-4.30pm and Saturday 10am-2pm.  There is a good selection of books, DVDs, CDs, eBooks, jigsaws, talking books and magazines for all ages, two computers (with free wifi) and toys for young children to play with. Printing, photocopying, faxing and scanning (charges apply) are available.
  • Paekākāriki Tennis Club, on the corner of Wellington and Robertson Roads, offers three courts with free public access except Wednesdays and Saturdays from 1pm, from October each year to Easter weekend.
  • Paekākāriki School grounds (out of hours only) are available for the junior and senior playgrounds, biking, balance biking, scootering and skateboarding on the entranceway concreted area, ball sports on the fields and basketball and netball on the concrete sports arena.
  • The Old Whatisname Library Named after one of Kapiti’s civic dignitaries, The Old Whatsisname Memorial Library is a free book-swap facility where locals can take, swap or drop off books, magazines, CDs and DVDs.

Eats

Paekākāriki has good cafés and a family restaurant, all of which are happy to accommodate children.

Early childhood education facilities

Paekākāriki Railway Station
Sat-Sun: 11am-3pm
Public holidays: 11am-3pm
stationmaster@stationmuseum.co.nz
The museum presents artefacts relating to the history of Paekākāriki and its surrounding area. Items on display relate to both Māori and European settlement, the history of rail in the area and the encampment of thousands of US Marines near Mackays Crossing during World War II.
Scout Den
Upper Campbell Park
Wellington Rd
Paekākāriki
Mon: Keas 4:30–5:30pm
Tues: Cubs 6:30 – 7:45pm, Vntrs 7.30pm
Wed: Scouts 7-8.45pm
paekakarikiscoutgroup@gmail.com
Paekākāriki Scout Group is a thriving community group catering for children and young people aged from 6-18 years.
52 Tilley Rd
Paekākāriki
A sweet wee free library set-up on the berm. Boasts a seat for one, book-lined walls and solar powered lights Take, swap, refill, respect!
Less than one hour
The Yankee Trail winds along the Wainui Stream, then heads north to the US Marine Memorial. Here you can read about the American namesakes of this trail. The track gives great views of a scenic wetland and farmed hills - including plenty of sheep!
Queen Elizabeth Park
Mackays Crossing entrance
Paekākāriki
Sat-Sun: 11am-4.30pm
Public holidays: 11am-4.30pm
Open daily Boxing Day-late Jan
info@wellingtontrams.org.nz
Take a fun ride, enjoy the nature. Take time to look at the displays and photos on show in the Tram Barn and have a look at videos of trams in action or become a member and assist with restoration, drive trams etc. Our kiosk is open selling cold drinks, ice creams and snacks.
The Old Dental Clinic
Paekākāriki School
90 Wellington Rd
Mark Amery
paekakarikifm@gmail.com
As part of Paekākāriki 88.2FM our tamariki at Paekākāriki School have the opportunity to run their own lunchtime half-hour radio shows 1-1.30pm weekdays (repeating 8-8.30am). They share music, stories, news and talk to others, growing their public presentation & technical skills.
The Engine Shed
SH 1
Paekākāriki
Mon-Sat: 9am-4pm
Peter Norman
0800 STEAMINC
027 446 6504
enquiries@steaminc.org.nz
Membership is open to anyone who wishes to support the activities of the Society. Frequent excursions to different destinations, typically every 1-2 months as advertised.
Paekākāriki School
90 Wellington Rd
Fri: 9am-12pm
Tina Pope
027 232 9998
pottypotters16@gmail.com
Potty Potters meet every Wed morning to prepare plants for our autumn and spring plant sales which funds the garden programme and teacher aides. We welcome all interested people - gardeners and non-gardeners, parents and grandparents and non-parents for all these activities.
Whareroa Farm
Mackays Crossing
whareroa.gct@gmail.com
A Charitable Trust of volunteers which was established to protect and develop Whareroa Farm Reserve (WFR) as a reserve for environmental and heritage conservation and public enjoyment. Planting working bees, pest control, track development, guided tours.
Queen Elizabeth Park
Mackays Crossing
Sat & Sun: weather dependent
Paul Buckrell
04 479 5995
021 422 633
paul.buckrell@outlook.com
Spectators are welcome at any time at the club when members are flying. There is a good vantage point on the slope running up behind the club house. If you have children with you, please make sure they do not wander off. Strictly no dogs. Contact Paul about becoming a member.
The Parade Nth
Queen Elizabeth Park
Paekākāriki
Elyse Robert
elyserobert@gmail.com
The Paekākāriki Surf Lifeguards patrol Paekākāriki Beach from November through March. We have a large active membership of junior surf (7-13 years) and senior members (14 years+) & offer competitive training squads for surf sports.
Cnr of Wellington & Robertson Rds
Paekākāriki
Ladies club Mon: 6.30pm
Mixed club Wed: 6.30pm
Junior coaching Sun: 10am
Carol Stewart
04 904 3645
021 108 2715
New members are very welcome. Membership allows you to take part in club days/nights, free entry in club tournaments, free beginner level coaching for 8-18 year olds and access to professional coaching and interclub.
Junior Roller Derby
Waikanae Memorial Hall
Amy Delahunty & Liz Kennedy
amydelahuntynz@gmail.com
Paekākāriki Starstormers Junior Roller Derby - for all girls aged 7-18 who want to learn the skills and game of roller derby! Terms 2 & 3 at Waikanae Memorial Hall. Please contact Amy Delahunty or Liz Kennedy for details.
Paekākāriki School
90 Wellington Rd
Wed: 4.30-5.30pm (7-13 years)
Wed 5.30-6.30pm (13yrs - adults)
Raima Kingi
021 108 5888
sdpk@hotmail.co.nz
We practice Combat Hapkido, a self-defence martial art. Come and learn the discipline, get fit and empower yourself.
Alexandra Saunders
027 932 2587
littlelegolibrary@gmail.com
The GO Club and B.O. Club are STEM clubs for kids 5-12yrs. We offer holiday programs and birthday parties too!
Paekākāriki Library
14 Wellington Rd
Paekākāriki
Mon & Wed: 1.30pm-4.30pm
Sat: 10am-2pm.
04 296 4700
or 0800 486 486
In the Tennis Club rooms you'll find our local little library. There is a good selection of books, DVDs, CDs, eBooks, jigsaws, talking books and magazines for all ages, two computers (with free wifi). Printing, photocopying, faxing and scanning available.
Lower Campbell Park
The Parade
Paekākāriki
Michael Lloyd
022 033 1225
msaslloyd@gmail.com
Junior football training and games from age 4 up.
Whareroa Farm
Less than one hour
If you’re after a short, easy wander in the bush, you can’t go wrong with the Forest Loop Walk. Starting from Whareroa Farm car park, the track allows a good view of Kāpiti Island, then heads through native kohekohe forest.
Queen Elizabeth Park
1-2 hours
If you’re a fan of sea and hill views, and don’t mind some ups and downs, head along the winding, ridge-top Inland Track. It’s a quieter, wilder alternative to the Coastal Track or Te Ara o Whareroa.
Queen Elizabeth Park
Paekākāriki
This much-loved seaside trail offers stunning coastal views and countless places to rest, play, picnic or swim.
Ames St Reserve
Paekākāriki Village
Less than one hour
An easy amble in Paekākāriki village’s southern parts, this walk combines bush, beach and views of the escarpment and ocean. A highlight is Ames St Reserve, or Penguin Park, where blue penguins nest.
Paekākāriki Village
Less than one hour
Wander along this easy walk that showcases local poetry and visual art, from the village centre.
Queen Elizabeth Park
Less than one hour
The Wainui Stream Walk is one of the quiet treasures of the lower North Island. At Paekākāriki’s northern edge, it allows an easy escape into bush and solitude, without straying far.
Pukerua Bay
Less than one hour
Ride south from Paekākāriki on the footpath edged between State Highway One and the rocky coast. Spot the Escarpment walkers high above, or even an orca if you're lucky. Stop at Pukerua Bay lookout to admire the huge views, and keep an eye out for Taranaki or Ruapehu in the far d
Whareroa Farm
1-2 hours
This is a spectacular mountain bike ride from the base of Whareroa Farm, with fantastic views down the valley and out to sea. An easy winding uphill is followed by an intermediate downhill track - the single-track twists, bends and bumps will keep you focused. Great for older kid
Queen Elizabeth Park
Less than one hour
A wonderful bike trail to Whareroa Beach and back for families and those wanting a scenic, sand-dune burst, ideal for those starting out mountain biking, offering coastal views and countless places to rest, play, picnic or swim.
Queen Elizabeth Park
Less than one hour
One of the best family-friendly biking opportunities in the Wellington region. Te Ara o Whareroa is a mainly-flat 6km sealed track on the inland side of the coastal sand dunes in Queen Elizabeth Park. It’s popular with all ages, from students biking to school in Raumati to older
Paekākāriki Village
Less than one hour
A leisurely bike ride along the village’s streets. Enjoy the views from high points at each end of the village, including the Memorial Lookout and Ames St Reserve.
Paekākāriki Village
less than one hour
Are you looking for a magical stroll? It’s worth taking a gentle wander around the village's Letterbox Art Walk to view some spectacular creations by a sample of Paekākāriki's artistic residents.
Queen Elizabeth Park
less than one hour
Enjoy this easy escape along a bush-lined stream, at the village’s northern edge.
162 Wellington Rd
Paekākāriki
04 299 0812
office@tera.school.nz
A Waldorf Kindergarten arising from the educational principles of Rudolf Steiner
90 Wellington Road
Paekākāriki
Mon to Fri: 8.30am - 3.30pm
04 292 8205
administration@paekakariki.school.nz
We are the home of The Barefoot Learner, where belonging, connecting, exploring and thriving are our valued guiding principles. Paekākāriki locals and visitors alike are welcomed here to share in our community spirit.
162 Wellington Rd
Paekākāriki
Mon: 9.00am - 12.00pm
office@tera.school.nz
A Waldorf Playgroup arising from the educational principles of Rudolf Steiner.
20 Wellington Rd
Paekākāriki
Mon, Tues: 9.15-12.30pm
Fri: 9.15-12.45pm (bilingual session)
04 292 8820
paekakariki@playcentre.org.nz
Paekākāriki Playcentre provides three sessions a week; Mon, Tues, & Fri (bilingual) where the focus is on child-initiated play, whānau and community. Pop in and visit us!
Under St Peter's Hall
Paekākāriki
Thurs: 12-5pm
1st Sat of the month: 10am-2pm (market day)
Jan Nisbet
04 905 4807
027 358 5611
bikeridenz@outlook.com
We recycle bikes and lend them out for a small annual fee. Our focus is sustainable transport. We have bikes of all sizes available. The library is underneath the hall, accessed by the side path on Ames St.