If you’re after a short, scenic bike tour of Paekākāriki Village, try this family-friendly loop. Smell the salty air as you sail along the length of The Parade. Watch the waves roll in and feel the mighty wind at your back.
Take in the sweeping 360-degree views from the Memorial Lookout. Turn your front wheel and head south to Ames Street Reserve, close to Centennial Highway. Bike or walk across the grass to the edge, overlooking the sea and surf far below.
This easy ride can be enjoyed in almost any weather.
Who it suits
The village’s sandhill foundations create a few ups and downs along the way. But anyone who can ride a bike will be able to do most, if not all, of this ride.
Reaching the Memorial Lookout requires a short, strenuous ascent – if you or your bike is not quite up for it just walk that stretch, or give it a miss. Otherwise, change to your granny gear or stand up on those pedals – the view’s worth the effort.
How long it takes
The full loop (see Directions below) takes around 45 minutes with a couple of short breaks. Allow longer for young kids, or if you want a swim or cafe stop.
- Getting a birds-eye view of the village, uniquely perched between ocean and hills, from the Memorial Lookout.
- Flying along The Parade with the wind at your back, breathing in the fresh air.
- On a clear day, glimpsing far-off islands on the horizon – Mount Stokes and neighbouring islands in the Marlborough Sounds.
- Looking up from Ames Street Reserve at the hills towering above.
- Gazing down from the reserve’s edge to the crashing surf and beach below.
- Enjoying the adrenalin rush of racing downhill over the Ames Street judder bars.
Tilley Road: Starting from the village shops on Beach Road, bike to Finn’s Hotel. Duck down the short pedestrian lane alongside the railway line, then turn into Tilley Road (right hand turn off Robertson Road).
Bike the length of Tilley Road, enjoying the lack of traffic and dramatic views of Paekākāriki Escarpment and the northern hills. Turn left into Te Miti Street and puff up a steep, but short, hill to Wellington Road.
Memorial Lookout: Turn right and bike into Queen Elizabeth Park, following the road to the left that takes you alongside the sea. Keep on this road, which circles inland, and take the right-hand turn at the top to visit the Memorial Lookout. Head back out to Wellington Road and take the first right, Henare Street, to the sea. Check out the stunning view of Kāpiti Island and the Surf Club and Wainui Stream to the right – the track to look out over the stream is well worth a stop.
Ames Street Reserve: Bike the length of The Parade, then turn right into Ames Street and follow it to the reserve at its southern end. Retrace your tyre tracks back along Ames Street, and take a right into Beach Road to return to your starting point.
Toilets are available in Paekākāriki near the shops on Beach Road, in Campbell Park on The Parade, and also at the carpark in Queen Elizabeth Park at the end of Wellington Road. Inside the park they are at Whareroa Beach. In Raumati, they are at the entrance to the park.
Food and drink
There are options for purchasing food and drink in Paekākakāriki, Queen Elizabeth Park (limited) and Raumati South. On Beach Road, Paekākāriki, there are two cafés, a pub, fruit shop and dairy. These are all about 1.5km south from the Wellington Road entrance to Queen Elizabeth Park.
- You can do this ride in almost any weather – if it’s stormy, rainy or cold you can still head out for a quick dash, even just to one end of this loop. In a gale-force wind pick your direction along The Parade to ensure a tail wind, or stick to Tilley Road, which is more sheltered.
- Wellington Road is an alternative route, but it can be not-so-nice on a bike. More cars use it, and it’s narrow in places. It is also more up-and-down than either Tilley Road or the Parade.
- If you want a mostly-flat ride, stick to The Parade and Ames Street.
Read Dinah Hawkin’s poem, Welcome