Meaning “resting place of the green parakeet.” Paekakariki has outgrown its name in more ways than one. First, its colorful namesake birds were driven out by European colonization, and more recently, the locals have informally changed the town’s unwieldy name to the more user-friendly “Paekak”. 

Paekakariki’s location at the southern point of the Kapiti Coast makes for breathtaking coastal views; if you have your own transport, take Paekakariki Hill Road, off SH1, up through a blindingly green valley before turning the corner to a drop-dead view of the Tasman Seas and the entire curve of the Kapiti Coast. 

A higher speed craze in Paekakariki is yet another invention in NZ’s endless search for an adrenaline rush – the Fly By Wire is a patented, 12min. thrill ride in an open-air, rocket-like contraption. 

Its beaches make Paekakariki attractive to holiday-makers. Check out the Engine Shed, which features steam locomotives and the Wellington Tramway Museum.