Perfect Porirua Pairings - A Guide to the Sights and Attractions of Porirua

Two customers ordering beers at Abandoned Brewery.

Good things come in pairs, including the sights and attractions of Porirua.

Words by: John Son

Photos by: Anna Briggs

For a small city, Porirua sure punches above its weight as a destination. An ever-growing number of businesses, eateries, and other attractions means there’s something to suit every taste. And with some of the city’s best spots in close proximity to each other, it’s easy to squeeze in a visit to at least two places, even if you only have a couple of hours to spare.

From scenic day walks to all manner of cafes, bars, and restaurants, it’s easy to pick and mix your own unique itinerary in Porirua, depending on what you’re in the mood for. Here are some of our top pairings in Porirua to get you started.

Adrenalin Forest & Supply Room

Looking for a real adrenalin-packed day out? Head along to the aptly named Adrenalin Forest, a challenging ropes course suspended in a forest overlooking the Porirua Harbour. Suitable for adults and teens, it’s a great way to push yourself, work up a proper sweat, and take in a scenic little corner of Porirua all in a fun, safe environment. To settle the nerves after getting close and personal with the trees, head along the harbour to Supply Room, a family-friendly bar with great views, hearty meals paired with fantastic local craft beer, and breezy live music.

Pātaka Art + Museum & Abandoned Brewery

Love arts and craft (beer)? Porirua has the perfect pairing for those who fancy both pilsners and paintings, with one of the region’s leading art galleries sitting right across the road from a top-notch brewery. Art aficionados of all stripes will love Pātaka Art + Museum, the heart of Porirua’s arts and culture scene, where the displays and exhibitions have a distinctly Pacific flavour. Once you’ve had your artistic fill, make the very short journey to Abandoned Brewery and take the time to muse over the eclectic range of craft beers from near and far. And with fried chicken goodness from The Karaage Kid available onsite, you’re welcome to stay for dinner, too.

Tunapo Escape & Battle Hill Farm Forest Park

A luxe tiny home getaway perched on top of Paekākāriki Hill, Tunapo Escape is a great base from which to explore the wider Porirua region. The secluded spot not only treats you to stunning panoramic views of Kapiti Island and beyond, but it also offers the perfect balance between relaxation and adventure, with plenty of walking tracks nearby. A short drive down Paekākāriki Hill Road takes you to Battle Hill Farm Forest Park, which boasts 500 hectares of rolling paddocks and a range of walks ranging from 10 minutes to four hours. 

Karehana Bay Beach & The Big Salami

You can argue all day about what does and doesn’t belong on a pizza, but there’s no denying there are few better places to enjoy a pizza than on a sunny beach. Karehana Bay Beach is one of the many small, charming beaches dotted around Porirua and a perfect spot to while the hours away in summer. From swimming, snorkelling, and fishing to walks in the nearby scenic reserve, there’s plenty to do for the whole family. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, grab a pizza or two from The Big Salami just down the road and chow down while you watch the waves.

Whitireia Park & The Beer Engine

One of Porirua’s most diverse corners, there’s plenty to explore in Titahi Bay, from boutique eateries to sweeping parks offering some of the best views you’ll find around Wellington. Whitireia Park is one of the gems in Porirua’s natural crown, featuring swathes of grassland and secluded beaches (perfect for an impromptu photoshoot), along with sunsets that will take your breath away. Once you’ve let the beauty of the area sink in, head down the road and wind down with a drink at The Beer Engine, a quirky, steampunk-inspired bar that’s turning out to be a real community hub. 

Pāuatahanui Wildlife Reserve & Light House Cinema Pauatahanui

Whether it’s on the silver screen or through your camera screen, there’s plenty to gawk at in Pāuatahanui. If you’re after a more chilled-out day and want your eyes (rather than your legs) to do the work, why not head to Pāuatahanui Wildlife Reserve, a thriving yet tranquil ecosystem that’s well suited for bird-watching (there are viewing hides around the area to help you do just this). In the evening, you can kick back with a new release at Light House Cinema Pauatahanui, a cosy little spot stocked with all your favourite movie-watching snacks. 

Panikeke & Samoa's Finest

One of the true bastions of Pasifika culture in New Zealand, Porirua is the perfect place in which to savour the colours and flavours of the Pacific. Your day begins with a trip to Panikeke, a small Pacific gift shop that packs a lot of character, along with a staggering array of clothing, beauty products, and homeware. ‘Panikeke’ is also the name of one of Samoa’s favourite snacks, and you can sample these deep-fried pancakes and a whole lot more at Samoa’s Finest. The compact food store has all the sweet and savoury Samoan treats you’d want (the chop suey is an unsurprising favourite), but get in quick, the queues build up pretty fast.

Neat Porirua Places

Nish Café

View of coffee machine and menu on the wall.
Place Porirua
Cafes key icon.

A small, modest spot in the heart of the Whitby shopping precinct, Nish Café may look unassuming but it packs a whole lot of heart.

Plimmerton Fish Supply

Woman eating fish and chips.
Place Porirua

Every happy neighbourhood needs a good fish and chip spot to hang out at, and for lucky Plimmerton locals that exists in the form of Plimmerton Fish Supply.

The Regal Shortbread Co.

A person holding a china cup and saucer with a smore's hot chocolate.
Place Porirua
Cafes key icon.

The Regal Shortbread Co. is a micro-bakery in Whitby specialising in decadent, high-end shortbread - six decadent flavours to be exact.

Supply Room

A close up of a giant, tall burger on a table.
Place Porirua
Restaurants key icon.

Is there an eatery in Porirua with a view better than the one at Supply Room? You’d be hard pressed to find one.