Perfect Porirua Pairings - A Guide to the Sights and Attractions of Porirua
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.
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What To Eat In Porirua
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Neat Porirua Places
The Big Salami
The Big Salami is where locals come to get super tasty pizza, coffee on the go and sweet slices like you remember from your childhood days.
Bringing a vibrant splash of Pacific colour to Porirua, Panikeke is a lively little gift shop that aims to highlight and celebrate the local Pasifika community.
t bay café
Starting out as a project to bring a much-needed eatery to Porirua’s Titahi Bay, t bay café now serves as a cornerstone of the local community, bringing its residents and visitors together.
The Karaage Kid
A plucky little outfit that packs plenty of punch, The Karaage Kid - brought to you by the team behind Dirty Burger - is out to serve a hearty dose of Asian fusion goodness...
Rising from the ashes of - literally - an abandoned brewery in Lower Hutt, Abandoned Brewery is doing its part to put Porirua on the map as a top beer lover’s destination.