Things to do in Waikanae

Top Things to Do in Waikanae

Things to Do in Waikanae

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Top Attractions in Waikanae

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Nature & Wildlife Areas
Discover "A Real KIWI Nature Experience" on the Kapiti Coast, within easy reach of Wellington. A diverse range of native animals & over 700 plant species. Nga Manu Nature Reserve offers you a unique opportunity to have a hands-on experience with nature. It is a 'must see' attraction for all local families and tourists visiting the Wellington region. There are 13 hectares for you to explore, including the largest remnant of original lowland coastal swamp forest on the stunning Kapiti Coast. The animal life at Nga Manu is a mix of both wild and enclosed species. Get up close to the iconic New Zealand Kiwi in the Nocturnal house and discover New Zealand's unique prehistoric reptile- the Tuatara. Meet the friendly Kea, Tui, Fantail, Kereru and Kaka. Over 56 different bird species come and go around the wetlands, bush and surroundings. All pathways are easily walked and are wheelchair and pushchair friendly (a wheelchair is available on site - we recommend that those in a wheelchair come with a friend who can assist with the aviary double doors). There are seating and picnic spots throughout the reserve including a BBQ facility and area. Follow the staff on our 'Bird Feeding Tour' at 11 am daily or take part in our Eel Feeding at 2 pm daily. We have a free guided bush walk and talk on weekends over the summer period and public holidays. We are flexible with your requirements, catering for individuals and groups, as well as hosting educational programs for visiting school groups in our Conservation Education Centre. If you have a special request please ask and we will work with you to create the best experience. We are able to provide personalised guided tours, catered lectures and a unique celebration or wedding venue.
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What travellers are saying

  • Loulou0833
    Wellington, New Zealand194 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Absolutely fabulous couple of hours with my wee 4 year old Grand niece, we both loved our time here. She was interested, captivated and had fun. Loved you could take your own picnic in.
    Written 29 March 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Katie M
    Wellington, New Zealand43 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    We had a lovely time at Peka Peka beach. Despite it being a really sunny, warm day - it wasn't too crowded. There isn't a lot of shade there but there are plenty of places to sit and relax. The water was warm (for New Zealand) and the waves were not too high for us swimmers. It is a shame that they are still allowing vehicles on the beach here though - some people are not very thoughtful when they drive along.
    Written 11 January 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Perry B
    Sydney, Australia2,559 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    I tagged along with some friends from Pekapeka and was delighted with the whole tour from whoa to go. The estuary birdlife is very rich and diverse and has to be seen to be believed! The prices were also very reasonable.
    Written 6 October 2019
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • SarahNZ_12
    Remuera, New Zealand180 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    The walk to the clearing from the Mangaone South road car park is about an hour. It’s 3 km. Detour to the river at the clearing with a picnic and you have a great activity.

    The track further north is currently closed due to an “access issue” which I wish would get resolved as the walk is very beautiful.

    It’s a pleasant and easy walk. The southern part is full of different native ferns which are amazing.

    To update things there is now a toilet at the entrance and a swing bridge so you no longer need to get your feet wet crossing the river at the start. I’d recommend good shoes/boots as water does cross over the track in several locations.

    Overall a great easy walk with a lovely bush reserve.
    Written 25 December 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Eskay52
    Kapiti Coast, New Zealand21 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    An interesting place with an eclectic mixture of things on display, all housed in the old Waikanae Post Office! Some hands on items for the younger visitors, and interesting tales, displays and artefacts for all ages.
    Written 20 June 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • kestonr2018
    Wellington, New Zealand280 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    We took the Parata Track up and it took us just under an hour. The track features some roots but is well formed and although you gain 300 metres it is a relatively easy climb.

    As others have said, the first lookout ia out towards Kapiti. The trees have grown a bit and could do with a bit of a trim. You continue on and there is another view out over the valley and hills behind.

    We continued on the Te Ap track. As others have said, it is much less formed than the Parata. However, we found the orange markers were well placed and didn’t have any difficulty finding our way.

    We continued on down the hill down to Huia Street to complete the loop. The track is steep and very full of roots, and our poles came in very handy for getting down. The wall back to our starting point was about 25 minutes and all up our trip was between three and a half and four hours with 477m altitude gain.

    Overall, we thought it was a very good and varied track. We met a lot of locals on our way up the Parata Track and they were very friendly. We didn’t meet anyone down the Te Ao, however it was a Monday and we could see that people must have walked it during the weekend.

    It could definitely be a more popular destination walk we think. The viewpoints were good, it would be nice to have more trees trimmed and for DOC to consider putting in a couple more lookouts over to Kapiti.

    I am also interested that people said it was easier to climb the Te Ao track. It can be harder going down because there is more chance of slipping, but some of the track was an estimated 30 degree slope and I for one was glad I wasn’t walking up it:).
    Written 27 February 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Eggandsp00n
    Wellington, New Zealand9 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Steady uphill for fit walkers of about 25-30 minutes. Beautiful bush. Can be slippery coming down. About an hour return and nice and handy to Kapiti Coast locals.
    Written 5 February 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Shirley J
    3 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Boutique theatre ( couches ) , good range of films , good options of food and drinks. Comfy seats and always very pleasant staff. A real treasure !
    Written 7 March 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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