Boasting over 40 kilometres of unspoiled beaches with charming seaside towns backed by mountains and forests, the Kapiti Coast is one of the most picturesque spots in New Zealand for a holiday. Each beach offers its own unique personality and appeal, whether you want to see wildlife, experience watersports, watch the sunset, or spend time splashing around with the kids. You’ll have numerous beach areas to choose from with diverse accommodation options on the beach or within walking distance, so you can make the most of your stay. Take a look at the best Kapiti Coast accommodation and top places to stay to plan your trip.
Waikanae Beach is 5 kilometres of stunning black sand on the Kapiti Marine Reserve. When you visit the beach, you’ll be treated to sights of rare Hector’s dolphins and whales on their migration routes. The beach is also nice for sunbathing and swimming with the kids. The Waikanae Estuary is nearby and offers boardwalks to walk through the area and see dotterel, dabchick, oystercatcher and other shorebirds. You’ll find plenty of accommodation near Waikanae Beach that puts you within steps of the sand, including hotels and beach cottages.
Paraparaumu Beach is a beach near Wellington that overlooks Kapiti Island. The beach is a gorgeous spot for sunbathing or sunset viewing, and you’ll find a premier golf course nearby. Another highlight of Paraparaumu Beach is the Coastlands Aquatic Centre, a recreational facility with warm pools, swimming lessons and a cafe. You could also book ferries to Kapiti Island to explore the nature reserve and catch sights of seals or kiwi. As a popular beach area, Paraparaumu Beach offers an array of coastal resorts and hotels. You could stay away from the water if you prefer the privacy of a holiday home or bach.
Located near the Otaki Shopping Centre, Otaki Beach is a beautiful beach with lifeguard patrol and gently sloping sand for kids to play and swim. The beach is popular for many other outdoor activities, including canoeing and kayaking, horse treks, windsurfing, land yachting and flying kites. You’ll find plenty of accommodation near Otaki Beach, such as waterfront hotels and beach baches for the whole family. If you're travelling with a big family, a large holiday home offer space for 12 with amenities like beach access, a garden, outdoor playsets, toys and games.
Peka Peka Beach
Peka Peka Beach is a picturesque beach that’s become famous for its young emperor penguin, Happy Feet, that came to the shore. Unusual for the area, the penguin garnered international attention and inspired a film. Offering a remote atmosphere, the beach has warm coastal waters and privacy for a relaxing beach day with the kids. The beach is also known as a clothing-optional beach by custom. You can find private accommodation at Peka Peka Beach within walking distance of the sand for a peaceful couple’s trip.
Waikawa Beach is a quiet beach and seaside settlement that’s popular for outdoorsy people. Many come to the beach to swim or participate in watersports like paddling and kayaking. You could also hike, ride horses or cycle near the beach to take in the views and see local wildlife like seals or shorebirds. If you want to spend time on the beach and the surrounding area, it’s best to book a beach bach or nearby holiday home that keeps you close to the sand and coastal trails. Interville is a great option for families that sleeps 8 and includes sporting equipment, a large yard for outdoor play, an extensive media system, kites, board games, toys and beach gear.
Paekakariki Beach is a popular beach area off the highway that offers lifeguard patrol in summer and excellent swimming for young children. The beach receives regular swells that attract experienced surfers in the area. You’ll find many amenities in the area, such as changing facilities, concessions, washrooms, showers, and a playground for children. Plenty of other activities are available, including horse treks on the beach, wind or kitesurfing and kayaking. Paekakariki Beach has many seaside hotels, motels, resorts and beach baches, but you can book accommodation away from the beach for a more private stay.