MacKays to Pekapeka - Kapiti Bridleway

When building the new Kapiti Expressway, NZTA and the local Council allowed for the local horse riders by incorporating bridleways, cycleways and footpaths. Te Moana road includes special horse crossing areas, with both safety barriers, and horse crossing lights.

As it is New Zealand, the term 'bridleway' was used to only mean the surface (path) for horses. Multiple paths were created, including; a 3 metre-wide surface for cyclists and pedestrians, and a grassed surface to one side for horses, in all rural areas and some urban sections.

NZTA booklet

Bridleway photo from Dizzy's Folding Bike Blog
Mackays to Pekapeka

Whareroa Farm

The main entrance to Whareroa Farm is via the Queen Elizabeth Park off-ramp about 3.5 km north of Paekakariki on State Highway 1. Provides a link from Queen Elizabeth Park to tracks in the Akatarawa Forest.

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New 1.4km trail, dubbed the East Ridge Track. The trail, partly funded by Walking Access, provides a dedicated loop for horse riders and walkers, separating them from mountain bikers who have alternative tracks in the area. The new trail follows the ridgeline and provides great views over Paekakariki, the Kapiti Coast and across to the South Island.

There is also the Ti Kouka\Rocks Track opened in 2015. This track starts on the Farm Race before it reaches the Hub and proceeds to the left of the Cairn up then crossing the Upper Ti Kouka Valley then follows the ridges mostly following old bulldozed farm tracks. This track takes trampers and horse riders up to the highest point of the reserve: “The Rocks”, at 320m altitude, a total climb of 300m. Half way are the cabbage trees, “Ti Kouka”

Want to help make this a great place? Whareroa Guardians - volunteer group


The key that will open the gates to the horse track in the northern end of Queen Elizabeth Park is available from The Kapiti Coast District Council .

Call Kapiti Coast District Council (04) 296 4700

The Council requires a $30 deposit for these keys which also open gates in Whareroa. You can keep the key as long as you wish and the $30 will be refunded when you return the key.


Both Parks, Queen Elizabeth and Whareroa are working farms.

Please leave the gates as you find them and leave the stock alone.

DOC website

Latest News of trail upgrades

Whareroa Beach

see also Queen Elizabeth Park (GWC Parks)

Access from Mackays Crossing parking

Campbells Mill Road, Akatarawa


Location – To the west of Akatarawa Forest near Paraparaumu.

At the traffic lights in Paraparaumu turn towards the hills(east)onto Kapiti Road. Right onto Hinemoa Road then a quick left onto Ruapehu Street. Straight ahead onto Valley Road heading south into the country for about 3 kms till you get to Maungakotukutuku Rd.

Park on the grass verge anywhere along Valley Road.

Saddle up and ride up Maungakotukutuku Rd, keeping close to the left. This is a steep narrow road, which you follow approx 2.5 km to the entrance of CM Rd, on the right,halfway down the hill in the valley.

A map and conditions of entry are at the gate, for which you will need a key (see above). The Campbells Mill Rd is a fairly gentle farm road 6.5 km long and has good footing. Marvellous views at the top and along the way. Access is shared with cyclists and walkers.

At the end of the road is the Akatarawa Forest which provides many tracks, including an easy loop. The same key is used for the Forest gate as you used to enter Campbells Mill Road. The riding in the Forest is extensive with tracks leading to Battle Hill and further west. The tracks in the forest can be quite stoney. Both 4 wheel drive vehiles and motobikes regularly use the Forest tracks.

Return to your foat is back down the Campbells Mill Rd and Maungakotukutuku Rd.

Waikanae River Bridleway


Parking and access to this ride is at the end of Greenaway Road, which is off Te Moana Rd, Waikanae. To get there turn off State Highway #1 at the southern lights in Waikanae onto Te Moana Road heading west towards the beach. About 3 km later make a left onto Greenaway Road, then 1 km to the parking and the river. Room for between 5-10 floats, relatively easy access.


When heading to the beach, go west on the parking side of the river for about 1 km, where you can ford the Waikanae River and ride the South bank. This part of the trail to the beach is approx. 4.5 km long. It is clearly signposted in the form of bollards where the river is generally fordable, with caution, to cross to those areas where it is permissible to ride on the North bank. It is possible, at low tide, to ride to the beach by coming out at the end of the bridle path beside the Otaihanga Domain, following the road a short distance and then crossing at the marked ford near the Boating Club, then ride on the north side of the river to the beach. The beach is nice riding to the north (dangerous to cross the Waikanae River at the surf to head south, but be aware this is a well used beach and there are restrictions during summer months. There are signposts and information boards at the river mouth.

When heading up river, use the ford at the eastern end of the parking area to go to the south side of the river. Follow the signs further up river on the opposite side of the river from Jim Cooke Park. Further up, approximately 2 km from the parking, you will need to ford the river to the north side and then can ride down river on the north side until Jim Cooke Park, where you will need to cross back over to the south side for the rest of the journey back to the parking.

A pleasant generally quiet ride on weekdays, but can be very busy at weekends. Just after 3 pm on weekdays, there is an influx of school children cycling home, mainly on the north bank.

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Whareroa Beach

Otaki River North Stopbank Trail

Shared with walkers, and cyclists

Open from Mon-Fri 5pm - dusk, and Sat noon-dusk

! This passes through a working quarry, so please note the opening times carefully!

NOTE Also a key is required on the river trail. This is obtained from Greater Wellington Regional Council Ranger office, Riverbank Rd Phone 06 364 7130

Otaki River