Walk Kapiti (I)

Coastal Walkway at Paraparaumu Beach

With Penny Redward
20th November 2009

A stroll along the beach but maybe not on the beach?  Wander up a river? Round a lake? Climb a mountain?  Kapiti has it all but sometimes it’s hard to find just the right one – once a month I will highlight a particular walk in the district.

Start with our newest and possibly shortest: The Coastal Walkway at Paraparaumu Beach – Marine Pde, from MacLean Park.  It’s a step on the way to a continuous 40km north south pathway from Otaki to Paekakariki.

Anyone who doubted the need for a formed path by the beach when there’s a perfectly good beach just metres away, need only stand and watch from the roadside – there will be a walker regardless of the weather.  Go on – walk it.  Enjoy the views, the sun and wind on your back but no sand in your shoes.  Do, however, take a detour on to the beach and admire the dune restoration planting – it really is working; then head back and enjoy the complete change of scenery.  Take the kids on their bikes, the baby in the buggy or the friend in a wheelchair; its well graded and has great ramps from parking areas and on to the beach.  Buy a coffee or fish and chips at a local store and make use of one of the many comfortable picnic tables along the way.

The Kapiti Coast Rotary Pathways Trust has helped KCDC by raising funds to develop this section of the walk and are now planning the southern extension to Tahi Road. They only need $20,000 more for this to proceed.

Eventually the path will link up with a route skirting the airport and connecting with the Wharemauku Stream Pathway to Raumati Village.  You can do this now if you want a longer walk, it’s just not a formal path. The access into airport land from the end of Tahi Road is private property, possibly with stock, so please respect this. Head south, ignore the two roads on your right and you will soon reach the Wharemauku Pathway.  Once at Raumati you can go over the bridge through to Weka Park and the Village or veer right towards the swimming pool and return to Paraparaumu via the beach, tide permitting of course!  Total time around 1½ hours depending on stops.

While Kapiti Coast District Council, Wgtn Regional Council and DoC all have various specific walks in the district for which they are responsible the formation of new tracks is an expensive, and often tortuously slow process.  Like the Rotary Clubs in Hawkes Bay, the four clubs in the district have combined to assist Council with fund raising. As funds and land become available sections throughout the district will be built until finally a continuous route is made.  They need community support – your support.
Check their website for details: www.kcrpt.org.nz

Next month we will look at one of our foothill walkways with views from Paekakariki to Waikanae but if you can’t wait Council Offices, DoC and Information centres all have free walking brochures.

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