An exterior shot of the Holtoms art gallery in paekākāriki, a gorgeous old pink building with orange trim.

The southernmost seaside village on the Kāpiti Coast, Paekākāriki is seen as the district’s creative hub. Many actors, dancers, musicians, filmmakers, and artists make their homes here. You can visit artists at work in the art studios in the old Holtom’s Building or enjoy the village Arts Walk.

Nestled between the sea and the hills, Paekākāriki is separated from the old motorway by a busy train line. A popular beach holiday destination, Paekākāriki is packed with walking and biking tracks and lovely parks. There are also friendly cafés, a small grocer, a bowling club, and a railway museum.

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Just past the shops on Beach Road is St Peter’s Hall. The venue is a favourite among touring bands and hosts movie nights, monthly markets, and the community bike library.

At the north end of Wellington Road, campers can pitch a tent at the Holiday Park and head off for one of many walks in Queen Elizabeth Park. If you want a more challenging hike, hit the escarpment track, which climbs the hills between Paekākāriki and Pukerua Bay to the south.