Otaki is situated on State Highway 1 halfway between Wellington in the south and Palmerston North in the north east. It has a population of 5,500, and is home to Ngāti Raukawa. On the southern boundary is the Otaki River where there is a great riparian planting programme in progress and lovely walks, river rafting, and biking trails. Otaki Beach has white sand and good views of Kapiti Island, the South Island, and on clear days, Mt. Taranaki and Mt. Ruapehu. The beach is popular for swimming, fishing, walking, surfing, horse riding and photography.
Things to do near Otaki
There are two shopping centres in Otaki. Shops on SH1 are mainly factory shops, so pick up a bargain. Other shops include cafes, art galleries, an art co-op in the old bank and gift shops. In the village down Tasman Road toward the beach, there are cafes, the museum, and galleries, including the Maoriland Hub.
Predator free nature reserve and bird sanctuary a 15 minute boat ride from Paraparaumu Beach. You can stay overnight and do some kiwi-spotting. Lots of walks and native bird watching, including the rare kākā, kōkako, takahē and hihi. Bookings essential. You will need to allow a whole day. Try Kapiti Island Nature Tours, Kapiti Island Eco, Kapiti Island Nature Reserve (DOC run).
Southward Car Museum
Over 400 veteran and vintage cars, the largest privately owned collection in the southern hemisphere. Situated in Otaihanga between Paraparaumu and Waikanae. Allow 2 to 4 hours.
Ngā Manu Nature Reserve
A 14 hectare reserve which preserves one of the largest remnants of coastal lowland swamp forest on the Kapiti Coast and provides a haven for native birds. Allow 2 hours.
Interesting walks and cycle trails
Our cycleways, walkways and bridleways – Kāpiti Coast District Council
Cycle Tracks & Walking Trails – Horowhenua District Council
Within a 15 minute drive of Otaki are:
Te Horo Garden Centre (Hyde Park, cnr SH 1 and Te Horo Rd, Te Horo)
Watsons (Bell St, Otaki)
100 & 1 Garden & House Plants (21 Hinau Street, Otaki)
The Greenery (SH1 Manakau)
Moores Valley (McLeavey Rd, Levin)
Coastal Growers (25 Lindsay Road 5510 Levin)
Talisman – Native Specialist (Otaki)
Travelling by public transport? Check out this useful information on local transport options.