Monday, 24 October 2016

Waikanae to Paekakariki

By Monday 10 October, John was feeling a bit more up to doing some biking, so we took the train to Waikanae, and biked back to Paekakariki. Our friend Pat came along with us.

In Waikanae, we walked across the road bridge to get to the track on southern bank of the Waikanae River. The northern bank has a place where it is a bit difficult to negotiate the narrow track between a group of closely set trees. John’s balance is still precarious, so he was keen to avoid that bit.

The track on the southern bank of the Waikanae River (photo by John)

The southern track is lovely and wide most of the way to Otaihanga, except for a stretch on a bend in the river, were the track had been scoured out by floodwaters on 17 September. It looked like most of the track had been washed away. Large boulders had been placed to restore the bank somewhat, but there was not a lot of room left for a track. We had to dismount and walk our bikes over the very lumpy surface.

Most of the track is lovely and wide … (photo by John)

… but in a bend of the river, almost all of the track had been scoured away in a flood

The track goes under the new Kapiti Expressway, which is still being built. The last time we biked here, we had to divert to the opposite bank, as they were putting the big girders in place. Now it seems to be almost finished, though there are still ground works going on below the bridge.

The Kapiti Expressway bridge looks almost finished …

…though there are still ground works going on

From the end of the river track, we took the path through the estuary wetlands. Some of it is on solid ground, and some is on boardwalks above boggy areas or water.

The bridge over a stream leads to the estuary track

The stream joins the Waikanae River at the top of this photo (photo by John)

Same stream, different view point

John prefers to walk rather than ride on the boardwalks. This photo is taken
from the back of John’s bike.

After lunch at the 180 Degree Café in Paraparaumu Beach, we wended our way to the start of Te Ara o Whareroa in Raumati. Instead of riding on the road, we went on the track that starts at the end of Tahi Road, at the far end of Marine Parade. It took us through some paddocks, and then alongside some of the airport land. Here we came to yet another Kapiti Expressway Bridge being built.

The track alongside airport land (photo by John)

Another Kapiti Expressway bridge and a foot/cycle bridge too

The other side of the bridge (photo by John)

Yet another Expressway Bridge, near Raumati (photo by John)

Through some of the Raumati residential streets, and onto Te Ara o Whareroa, to Paekakariki. For the last bit before we got to the village, we rode on the Paekakariki foreshore (easier, because you don’t have to tackle the hill overlooking the station).

The Parade on the Paekakariki foreshore. Pukerua Bay in the distance (photo by John)

We had some time before the train back to Wellington was due, so we stopped at the Perching Parrot Café. We noticed another pair of SmartMotion e-bikes parked nearby. They belonged to a couple whom Pat happened to know. When she stopped to talk to them, the man said to me, “I know you – from your blog”. Wow! It turns out that they bought their SmartMotion e-bikes on the strength of my blog and of John’s write-up about the bikes. How exciting is that?

Of course we joined them at their table, and had an interesting chat, until they left to catch their train back to Pukerua, while we lingered for another half hour, before taking the next train back to Wellington.

It had been an excellent ride – 23 km in lovely sunny, calm weather. We’ve been missing both the fine weather, and the biking of late. So a great day all round.


  1. It was great meeting you, John and Pat at the Perching Parrot Café, Paekakariki!!
    Ashley and Margaret Blair