Local attractions near Aston Road Villa

Local Attractions

Māori tradition/creation stories tell of Kupe, the legendary explorer reaching New Zealand 800-1000 years ago, created Kāpiti and Mana with a single blow of his mighty pata (club). Scientists suggest that seismic activity made Kapiti. Kapiti was once part of a series of ridges in the Tararua range, has been cut off and made an island by the rising sea.

Local Attractions

Kāpiti, a rectangular island of 2000 hectares, lies off Wellingtons western coast opposite Paraparaumu. Kāpiti refers to Te Waewae Kapiti o Tara raua ko Rangitane, the dividing line between the tribal lands of Ngai Tara and Rangitane peoples. Mana and Kapiti islands were important to Māori because of their proximity to Te Moana-a-Raukawa (Cook Strait). Whoever controlled the islands also controlled the strait. At various times almost all the tribes of the lower North Island have occupied Kapiti. Kapiti is renowned as the stronghold of the Ngati Toa tribe during the 1820s and 1930s, when the great chief Te Rauparaha made it the centre of an extensive empire. The first Europeans to frequent Cook Strait were adventurers, traders, whalers and missionaries who often called at Mana and Kapiti. Some settled and they stocked the islands with sheep and cattle. After the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, most of Ngati Toa left Kapiti to live on the mainland. European leaseholders farmed Kapiti until 1897, when the Crown took most of it for a bird sanctuary. This information Chris Maclean, Wellington places - Kapiti and Mana Islands', Te Ara - the Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/wellington-places/page-17. We have Chris's Waikanae and Kapiti books available for guests.

There are many different types of activities here on the coast - scenic, active, adventurous, and cultural.

Climb to the highest point of Kapiti Island - Tuteremoana  Kapiti is a sanctuary for forest birds www.kapitiisland.com. Highly recommended and a 'must do'. Day trips or overnight stays available

Walk the ‘Stairway to Heaven’ (the Escarpment Walk) it is part of the national Te Araroa Trail www.wellingtonregionaltrails.com

Explore the excellent network of cycling, walking and bridleway trails - suitable for all ages and levels of fitness. We can recommend horse riding stables and where to hire bikes. A great ride is through Queen Elizabeth Park on the Te Ara o Whareroa track from Paekakariki to Raumati.

See the largest private collection of rare and collectible cars in the Southern Hemisphere at the Southwards Car Museum www.southwardcarmuseum.co.nz.

Visit the birds and tuatara at Nga Manu and feed the eels www.ngamanu.co.nz.

Have a coffee and slice of cake at Ruth Pretty’s Springfield House and explore the kitchen and garden shop, or maybe take a cooking class www.ruthpretty.co.nz.

Waikanae township is 5 minutes drive away, Waikanae beach is 10 minutes drive away - both locations feature local restaurants and cafes. We have compiled a list of recommendations.

Walk along some of the 40km of beaches sheltered by Kapiti Island.

Go white water rafting on the Otaki Gorge www.captivate.net.nz

Book a boutique private tour - a Kapiti Foodie tour or a guided tour of the Kapiti coast  www.kaewatours.co.nz

Go on a private alpaca farm walk at Cantharis Alpacas based in the hills above Kapiti Coast.  www.nzalpaca.co.nz

Shop at outlet and specialty shops along State Highway 1 in Otaki or visit the variety of homeware and boutique clothing shops in Raumati.

Enjoy the arts – many artists on the Kapiti coast can be visited along with galleries including Mahara Gallery and Artel Gallery which only sell New Zealand made arts and crafts which are predominantly Kapiti made.

Waikanae Estuary is both a beautiful and scenic spot and a bird sanctuary at the same time. There are many bird species not seen regularly or so easily elsewhere. Waikanae is a bird capital of New Zealand www.kapitibirdtours.co.nz

Play a round of golf - there are 6 golf courses to choose from here on the Kapiti Coast.

Visit the local Kapiti Chocolate Factory and shop for a demonstration, tour and shopping  www.kapitichocolatefactory.co.nz 

Waikanae Railway station is also 5 minutes drive away and the trip into Wellington City takes 60 minutes. Tickets can be purchased from $19-$35 depending on the time of day you are travelling.