Hotels in Paraparaumu (North Island, New Zealand)

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Hotels in Paraparaumu

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Paraparaumu, the Heart of the Kapiti Coast

Often thought of as a dormitory for those commuting into New Zealand’s capital, it would be all too easy to write-off Paraparaumu as a sleepy satellite of Wellington. But though it might be small in size, this blink-and-you’ll-miss-it town actually offers a wealth of attractions. Nature – whether land or sea – will be at the very forefront of your itinerary, but with activities like island hopping, golfing and gourmet markets all close to hand, petite Paraparaumu offers something for all visitors. Whether you’re an adrenaline junky or a beach bum, this pint-size town is sure to keep you busy.

Orientation and Layout

Located on the south west curve of New Zealand’s North Island, Paraparaumu is set in the heart of the country’s Kapiti Coast area. Backed to the east by Tararua Forest Park with its imposing Mitre and to the west by the bulk of Kapiti Island, the town occupies a slim stretch of coast just north of the Akatarawa Forest. Parapauraumu boasts two seaside areas; both the town’s eponymously named beach – which features a weekly gourmet food market – as well as Raumati Beach offer travellers excellent opportunities for seaside strolls. Those arriving into Paraparaumu by car will note that New Zealand’s State Highway 1 passes directly through the town and serves as one of its main thoroughfares. However, those looking for accommodation and dining venues will find that the bulk of Paraparaumu’s hotels and restaurants are dotted between the coast and Highway 1 as well as Main Road, the town’s other major thoroughfare.

Exploring Land and Sea in Para-Param

Affectionately referred to by locals as ‘Para-Param’ or ‘Pram’, central Paraparaumu offers outdoor enthusiasts plenty to do. Golfers will find that Pram boasts no less than three fairways, one of which features an undulating green terminating in dramatic sea views. Cyclists can explore the town’s coastline by the Waikanae cycleway, but for those after something a bit more adventurous, there are numerous 4x4 adventure tour operators dotted throughout town. While these vendors specialise in off-road, four-wheel drive and all-terrain vehicle excursions, for a truly different experience, you can even hover over Pram in a helicopter. But the town itself is dominated by views of nearby Kapiti Island, which lies just over three miles from Pram across the Rauoterangi Channel. Multiple ferry operators run tours from the mainland across to this nature reserve, which is now a birdwatcher’s delight. Once disembarked, guests can explore the island, spotting multiple rare bird species like kiwi and takahe .

Mountain Tramps and River Walks

The environs of Paraparaumu offer outward-bound travellers excellent tramping opportunities. Located approximately a 30-minute drive east of central Pram, Tararua Forest Park is home to the Tararua Range. Laced with paths, intrepid mountaineers can challenge themselves on the Southern Crossing, a trail that begins just west of town at Otaki, taking in snow-capped Mount Hector before finally winding south towards Kaitoke. Those tramping on east to west routes will note the marked difference in vegetation as they traverse the reserve; thanks to wet winds coming off of the Cook Straits, the west side of the park is composed of a lush forest of conifers and ferns. The eastern slopes, in contrast, feature a drier, more prairie-like environment. But if full-on mountain tramps just aren’t your thing; no worries. Follow the course of the Otaki River just off of Highway 1 on the outskirts of town for a gentle stroll and more outstanding scenery.

Restaurants and Hotels in Paraparaumu

If all of Paraparaumu’s fresh air has made you ravenous, then you’re in luck; for a small place, the town boasts a wealth of flavours. There are three distinct restaurant hot-spots in Pram. Along the Main Road area, visitors will find a mix of pubs, independent cafés, chain franchises and South Asian eateries. Heading onto nearby Kapiti Road, options from the Eastern hemisphere dominate; this is the place for Thai noodles, meaty kebabs and more subcontinental fare. But if you like your meals with sea views, head towards Paraparaumu Beach – specifically the Marine Parade area – to choose from a host of fish restaurants and cafés. Just as with its eateries, sleeping accommodation in Paraparaumu can be found in a couple of distinct areas. The Main Road offers a handful of choices, but those after something more visually striking should make for the coast. In particular, the hotels around the Paraparaumu Beach area are known for their sea views.

Frequently Asked Questions about Paraparaumu