For a nice destination run along a river and around an estuary, we recommend the paths along the Waikanae River in Paraparaumu, a town on the Kapiti Coast, 55 km north of Wellington The Waikanae River meanders through a diverse landscape – from the ranges, through alluvial plans, coastal dunes and down to the sea. Bonus: easily accessible by train — it’s a 1 hour ride from Wellington.
From just south of the Waikanae train station/parking lot, paths extend on both sides of the river for up to 6.7 km to the Waikanae Estuary. It’s a combination open and wooded terrain, as the paths pass through a series of parks. There are two pedestrian bridge crossings: Te Arawai Footbridge (1 km from start), and Otaihanga Bridge (3.9 km). We’ve mapped the full 13.5 km route, heading out on the north bank path, crossing to the south bank at Otaihanga Bridge to access the Estuary, and then returning the whole way on the south bank.
- Up to 13.4 km (8.4 miles) out and back, using north & south bank paths
- In Waikanae, just south of train station/car park
- Train: Waikanae, a 1 hour ride from Wellington; There's also a car park