Parata Track climbs through a remnant forest of Nikau palms and Kohekohe trees. The mature trees offer cool shade on hot summer days, so it’s a popular trail with runners, walkers, and families alike.
To access the Parata Track, follow the signs from the entrance off Tui Crescent and continue up to a lookout with exceptional views of Kapiti Island and the Reikorangi Valley. You will encounter streams and bridges, and you might hear Tui and Piwakawaka (fantail) calls.
It is a healthy climb up through the original bush, but the track is straightforward. You can turn around at the first viewing area or carry on to a windier and more advanced tramping track. This track leads to a clearing with a picnic table and great views.
This is where the Parata Track ends for a return journey to Tui Crescent. If you wish to continue, the Te Au Track takes you to the exit on Huia Street. This section is recommended for experienced walkers with a good level of fitness and good footwear. The descent is slippery when wet and has patches of long grass. Local trail runners prefer to run the Te Au Track from the entry on Huia Street.
Waikanae is approximately a 1-hour train ride from Wellington. From the station, it’s a 15-minute walk to the track entrance. Turn east onto Elizabeth or Utauta Street and left onto Winara Ave. Turn right into Kereru Street and right again into Tui Crescent. Look for a sign indicating the beginning of the reserve up a paved drive.
There is plenty of on-street car parking nearby. Alternatively, you can access Kohekohe Walk from 65 Kakariki Grove, off Winara Avenue. You can also catch bus number 281, which stops on Winara Ave and Kotare Street, both within a short walking distance to the track. For bus timetables, check the Metlink website.