6 Best Porirua Walks and Where to Treat Yourself Afterwards
Explore the great outdoors (and hospitality) with these walks in the Porirua region.
Words by: John Son
Photography by Neat Places
Just a short drive from the Wellington city centre, Porirua is a burgeoning region full of splendid natural vistas. Whether you want a steep climb with impressive panoramas, a foray into native flora and fauna or a simple beach stroll, there’s something for every agenda on this list. The best way to explore the area is on foot, followed by some well-deserved refreshments.
Here are some of the best walks in Porirua and where to treat yourself afterwards.
Rangituhi Colonial Knob + Local Authority
Shop 1/1 Walton Leigh Avenue, Porirua ( Local Authority)
With the summit sitting at close to 500 metres, Rangituhi Colonial Knob offers a challenging but certainly doable walk, with three separate routes to the top giving you plenty of options. Let’s just say sturdy shoes are advised. On a clear day, you can reward your efforts with views of the Kaikōura Range and Mt Taranaki. And closer to home, you’ll see across Porirua Harbour, as well as suburbs Tawa and Johnsonville to the south. To sweeten the deal even further, after your walk treat yourself to a delicious smoothie at Local Authority, paired with a toastie if you’re extra peckish.
Pukerua Bay + Greedy & Co.
98 Rawhiti Road, Pukerua Bay, Porirua (Greedy & Co.)
The rugged Pukerua Bay is easily one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline in the Wellington region, and well worth the trip out Porirua way. Enjoy the walk along the secluded beach, taking in the six-metre high carved Pou Tangaroa on the way, before exploring the small shops in the neighbourhood. Of course, you’ll have to finish up at Greedy & Co. to indulge in one of the coffee cart’s legendary pies or sausage rolls.
Plimmerton Beach + The Big Salami
2 Steyne Avenue, Plimmerton, Porirua (The Big Salami)
A handy stone’s throw from Plimmerton station, Plimmerton Beach is a tranquil spot that has something for everyone, especially in summer. The beach is sheltered from the northerly swell, so it is always relatively calm, making it a popular spot for swimming. Take a short stroll along the beach, go for a dip with the little ones, watch the windsurfers in action (or take part yourself) or simply relax with some takeaways. For a guaranteed good time, grab a pizza from The Big Salami and tuck in as you watch the sunset. The community-feel pizzeria has a solid selection of options including a delicious calzone.
Te Ara Piko Walkway + Light House Cinema
3 Paekakariki Hill Rd, Pauatahanui, Porirua
The Te Ara Piko Walkway takes you through the diverse ecosystem of the Pāuatahanui inlet, with plenty of surprises along the way for wildlife enthusiasts. And with its gentle, accessible boardwalks, it’s an easy trip for the whole family. You’ll find a melting pot of runners, cyclists, plenty of walkers and the odd scooter on this picturesque reserve. Finish up at Light House Cinema Pāuatahanui for a coffee and a sweet treat - and if the day’s not quite over, why not go all out and watch a movie as well?
Whitireia Park + Aloha Friday
24 Bay Drive, Tītahi Bay, Porirua (Aloha Friday)
Not only does Whitireia Park have great walking tracks, it also boasts some of the best views in the Porirua region. The crown jewel of the park is the sweeping outlook across Porirua Harbour and over to Mana Island. Many outdoor enthusiasts frequent Whitireia Park so expect to see people biking, horse riding, fishing or walking. Take an early morning stroll around the headland and enjoy the scenery, then grab a pick-me-up at Aloha Friday. Expect to meet some locals at this cute beach café that also serves as the gallery for co-owner and former Tall Fern, Tania Tupu.
Pāuatahanui Wildlife Reserve + Nish Café
69a Discovery Drive, Whitby, Porirua
A wildlife sanctuary offering a spot of peace and quiet, the Pāuatahanui Wildlife Reserve is a fantastic place to wander around and be at one with nature. The 50 or so hectares of wetlands are home to several species of bird and other creatures, which you can spy on from the strategically placed viewing hides. Head on over to Nish Café afterwards to indulge in a hearty brunch or lunch, followed by their famous pecan pie.
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Neat Porirua Places
Pāuatahanui Wildlife Reserve
Originally developed as a sanctuary for birds and other creatures populating the area, the Pāuatahanui Wildlife Reserve doubles as a quiet retreat for humans as well.
Karehana Bay Beach
Tucked away in a small nook on the north-western end of Plimmerton, Karehana Bay is often overlooked by visitors to Porirua.
Those clued up on Polish cuisine will feel right at home at Topor Bistro, with a menu featuring the classics: dig in to pierogi, bigos, and golabki.
Light House Cinema Pauatahanui
Light House Cinema Pauatahanui is the only independent movie spot for some miles around.
If you’ve called Samoa home at some point in your life then this place is undoubtedly going to stir up all kinds of nostalgia.