Our District

Visitor attractions and activities

From fishing, visiting gardens, horse racing to playgrounds, there are plenty of things to do in Ōtaki. Annual events include the Kite Festival at the beach in February/March, Māoriland Film Festival in March and the Kāpiti Arts Trail in November.  

Bike and Skate Park

A good quality skate park is situated at the corner of Riverbank Road and Aotaki Street, Ōtaki adjacent to a kids' bike park with tar sealed mini-road which includes road markings, Give Way and Stop signs so kids get to learn road rules and road-sense in a safe and fun environment.


  • Ōtaki Tasman Road, Ōtaki
  • Centennial Park, State Highway 1
  • Haruatai Park, 200 Mill Road
  • Main Street Playground, Main Street
  • Matai Street Park, Matai Street
  • Tasman Road Playground, Tasman Road
  • Totora Park, Sue Avenue

Rivermouth lookout

Accessed via Kāpiti Lane or at the coastal end of the river cycleway, this concrete raised platform had indicator arrows highlighting key sights such as Kāpiti Island and the South Island and views across the estuary to the sea.

Fishing spots

  • Ōtaki River Mouth & Estuary – one of the best places in Wellington Region for kids to catch a fish
  • Potts Reserve, 9kms up Ōtaki Gorge Road
  • Line or net fishing at Ōtaki & Te Horo beaches
  • Fly fishing for trout open all year on Ōtaki River (you will need a licence available from Hunting and Fishing).

Adventure activities

Captivate Adventure, Ōtaki Gorge Road, Ōtaki.  Ph 04 299 1595 or 027 241 0199
Activities include rafting, kayaking, tubing, abseiling, rock climbing and many others.  All adventures take around three hours to complete.  At the end of their adventure guests enjoy the use of the swimming pool (summer only), barbeque facilities, and amazing river views.  


Beachbrook Stables, 98 Rangiuru Road, Ōtaki Beach. Ph 06 364 0302 06 364 0302 or 027 244 8121       


Epic Surf Schools Pavilion Building next to Ōtaki Surf Life Saving Club, Marine Parade, Ōtaki Beach Ph 027 7873464 / 027 SURFING 

Open to swells from the northwest and southwest, super consistent year round offering plenty of classic learn-to-surf waves. Professional surf instruction for all ages and abilities. Bookings essential.

Golf course

Ōtaki Golf Course,Old Coach Road, Ōtaki. Ph 06 364 8260 

Miniature Railway and Gardens

LOCO, 200 State Highway 1, Ōtaki. Ph 06 364 6506

LOCO miniature railway & gardens has something for everyone. Step back in time and experience the nostalgia of the 1920s. This fascinating miniature landscape covers 1/4 acre. G scale models of some of the first steam locomotives. Open 11.00am to 4pm from 1 October – 30 April, every Sunday and daily during school and public holidays. Closed Christmas Day.

Lavender Creek Farm, 123 Settlement Road, Te Horo. Ph 06 364 3682 

A heritage lavender collection in an attractive display setting with 330 types of lavender, making high quality lavender oils. Harvest times are advertised for public visit events.  

Trinity Farm, 202 Waitohu Valley Rd, Ōtaki. Ph 0800 955 555 

A beautiful three acre country garden showcasing over 1000 heritage roses.

Horse Racing

Ōtaki Māori Racing Club, Rahui Road,  Ōtaki. Ph 06 364 8078 

The sole surviving Māori racing club in New Zealand – others having disappeared prior to twentieth century. As well as running all Ōtaki Māori Racing Club race meetings every season, the course also operates Levin Racing Club race days at the course. The racecourse itself is sited just two minutes east of Ōtaki Railway and State Highway One (follow the signs from the Ōtaki roundabout).

Pick your own fruit and vegetables

Penray Gardens – State Highway 1, South of Ōtaki. Ph 06 364 5302

Many varieties of fruits and vegetables available to pick including more than twenty different types of chilli. Check for seasonal availability.

Kitchen Shop and Cookery School

Ruth Pretty Kitchen Shop, 41 School Road, Te Horo. Ph 06 364 3161

Visit the Kitchen Shop - a cook's treasure trove for great gifts and enjoy espresso coffee and cake in the Garden Room.  Summer hours (Nov-Mar) Monday - Sunday 9.00am to 4.30pm. Winter hours (Apr-Oct) Tuesday - Saturday 9.00am-4.30pm.  Closed public holidays. Coffee service available until 3.30pm. Cooking courses also run from here

Lord of the Rings site

Near 467 Ōtaki Gorge Road to Otaki Forks – a natural tunnel of Totara trees used to film Outershire Woods and roads around Hobbiton.

River swimming spots

There are several spots along the river from Ōtaki Forks down to the coast.  At Ōtaki Forks, by Waiohanga Bridge there is a vehicle track that leads down to a swimming hole.

Retreat centres – meditation and yoga

Māori art and craft

  • Toi Māori is part of Te Wānanga o Raukawa, in the old Post Office building opposite the Tele Hotel, at the corner of Tasman and Te Rauparaha Streets. It is primarily a learning facility so not always publicly accessible but has some wonderful authentic art and craft in display cabinets.  Ph 06 364 9011
  • Te Whare Kete, Māori Crafts shop, is on Main Street just east of Te Rauparaha Street.
  • Nga Pura Pura opposite the Wananga entrance also has some art on display.
  • Ōtaki Library houses the core Māori Collection for the district, Te Matahiapo, and features a great selection of resources.
  • Kakahu Taonga Aotearoa, 209 State Highway 1, Ōtaki. Ph 06 364 8537
    Clothing, jewellery, giftware and souvenirs with a kaupapa Māori flavour


Arts and crafts


Artist Adele Souster http://adelesousterart.co.nz/artist/adelsous/About/ - Open by appointment 021 701 705 or email adele@sousterart.co.nz


Tramping in the Tararuas - photo by Mark Coote

Fly fishing on the Otaki River - photo by Mark Coote


Pick your own chills - photo by Mark Coote


Choice of playgrounds in Otaki - photo by Mark Coote