This coastal track winds through sand dunes between Paekākāriki and Raumati South. The sea, inland hills, and Kapiti Island will be a constant companion. On a clear day, you can see as far south as the South Island and north to Mount Ruapehu and Mount Taranaki.
The well-maintained wide track is sign-posted. Keep an eye out for the birds commonly seen in the coastal habitat, including tūī, wax eye, fantail, goldfinch, yellowhammer, oystercatchers, and the more exotic white-faced heron.
The track is split into two sections that meet at MacKays Crossing. The southern section between Paekākāriki and MacKays Crossing is about 2km or 1-1.5 hours return. Take a picnic and stop at one of the large, grassy areas, or join one of many secondary pathways linking to the Inland Track to return a different way.
From MacKays Crossing to Raumati South, the northern section is 1.5km (1-hour return). In this section, you’ll see the progress of local sand dune restoration projects to encourage native plant regeneration.
From Paekākāriki train station, it’s a 20-minute walk to the Queen Elizabeth Park entrance on Wellington Road. You’ll find an information board, map, and directions opposite the Paekākāriki Holiday Park. Note there’s no public transport within Paekākāriki or between Paekākāriki and Raumati South.
If driving, parking is available at the Paekākāriki and Raumati South entrances to the park, MacKays Crossing, and Whareroa Beach. Access gates to Queen Elizabeth Park are locked at dusk. If you get locked in, ring the ranger on 027 244 5319.