Wellington Regional Trails

Hemi Matenga Scenic Reserve

A child and adult in the bush looking into the trees and pointing.

About the park

Covering 30 hectares of native forest, Hemi Matenga Scenic Reserve is one of the largest remaining areas of kohekohe forest in New Zealand. Forming part of an ecosystem network that links Kapiti Island with the Tararua Ranges, the reserve offers sweeping views of Kapiti Island and Waikanae Estuary.

There are numerous walking and tramping trails of various lengths and difficulty, including the easy Kohekohe Walk (30min loop), the steep bush-walk Parata Track (1 to 2-hours return, or the more challenging tramping track, Te Au Track (2-4 hours return).

A person reading the Hemi Matenga Scenic reserve sign, with bush in the background.
A single tree sits in front of a vast view of Waikanae beach.

The main entrance to Hemi Matenga Scenic Reserve is at Tui Crescent, Waikanae. There is on-street parking at the base of the track up to a reservoir.

By train — From Waikanae Station, the Parata Track is a 15-minute walk. Walk south to Elizabeth Street and head east towards the inland hills. Turn left onto Winara Ave, then right into Kakariki Grove or Tui Crescent.

By car — Take the old State Highway 1 into Waikanae, turn east over the railway line and onto Elizabeth Street, then left into Winara Ave, then right into Tui Crescent or Kakariki Grove.