Waikanae is a laid-back beach town of 14,000 people (2022) in the Kapiti Coast with a combination of retired population and young families that brings a unique blend that is relaxing and vibrant.
The lovely long beach and pristine Waikanae River offer a range of outdoor activities. The local fly fishing club offers lessons for first timers.
Get in edit
By train edit
- 1 Waikanae railway station. M-Th first service 5AM, last service 11PM; F Sa first service 5AM, last service midnight; Su first service 6AM, last service 11PM. The northern terminus of the Kapiti Coast line from Wellington, with trains every 15 minutes peak time but usually about every 20-30 minutes and every hour in the late evening taking about 1 hour. Change at Paraparaumu from the thrice weekly service from Auckland. Waikanae to Wellington: $13.50 fare, $7 child; 50% off fares as of Nov 2022.
By car edit
- Driving will take about 45 minutes from Wellington to Waikanae via Transmission Gully and the expressway (State Highway 1) there is also a local road (State Highway 59) that takes you through all the local towns but it may take longer if using the local road
This is a proud gardening community which regularly features in national magazines. Head inland to Reikorangi Valley where you will find the local pottery making and cafe. This hidden gem is where it stops.
- 1 Kapiti Coast Museum, 9 Elizabeth St. F–Su 1–4PM. local museum in the original 1907 Waikanae Post Office building. By donation.
- 2 Nga Manu Nature Reserve, 74 Ngā Manu Reserve Road. 10AM–5PM. Take the kids to feed the fat eels and meet Diana the Tuatara. Adult $12, child $8.
- 3 Waikanae Beach, Te Moana Rd. How about a walk along the beach as the tide is just coming in, watch the shellfish, squirting water into the setting sunlight as they greet the waves.
Two bridges allow a decent loop walk which you can break to let the kids play in the playground at Otaihanga Domain or enjoy a safe swim in the river. Where the River meets the sea you may meet Waikanae's Birdman, Mik Peryer, guiding visitors to spot the rich birdlife on the protected estuary.
In summer, take a picnic and book a BBQ at the outdoor swimming pool complex where kids can swim for hours and enjoy the slide.
Right in the middle of town you can shop, do your errands, visit the districts gallery and enjoy a selection of restaurants and follow your nose to the bakeries with the fresh hot bread.
there are local restaurants and takeaway shops in waikanae but there are no big chain restaurants such as McDonald's, KFC, or Domino's, they are in the next town south Paraparaumu most of the restraunts are in the town area near the to the west side of the station There are two supermarkets in the area, Countdown and New World; they are within walking distance of the station.