The thriving city of Paraparaumu is not only a rather tongue twister name but is also a great place to spend the day. I’ve visited there a number of times as I live within an hour’s drive from the city.
It’s one of the fastest growing cities in New Zealand with a great number of restaurants and other places to enjoy in the city but what I really enjoy is the countryside around the city which offers some great walking and cycling experiences.
Start your day in the early morning in Wellington where you’ll need a car, a bike rack and of course your bicycles.
Drive 30 minutes north on SH1 to the small relaxed seaside town of Rumati South which is just south of Paraparaumu.
It’s a perfect place to have your first meal of the day; the all-important breakfast.
What we did was to have a lovely picnic on the beach that my partner cooked the night before. You should find it quiet in the morning; just bring a beach towel and you should have a relaxing breakfast while seeing and hearing the rolling waves of the sea.
Another place to have a great breakfast or lunch is at Lembas which is the Rumati South town. If you have a big appetite then try their “Lembastic big breakfast”; it’s a real feast!
After filling yourself up, it’s time to start cycling.
If you don’t have bicycles then a popular rental place here is Onyerbike which has a shop in Wellington and Paraparaumu. You can look here to see their rental prices.
I recommend you park your car in in Rumati South and ride north via State Highway 1 into Paraparaumu then turn left onto Kapiti Road and finally turn right onto Manly Street which runs along the beach.
Now continue riding along the coastal roads with the sea to your left, passing over the bridge at the Waikanae River, until you reach Waikanae beach.
I recommend stopping for a coffee or tea at the café in the Waikanae town. It’s a very small town, so you can’t miss the café. It’s on the corner of the main shopping area, next to the mini roundabout.
At this point you can either ride back to Paraparaumu, or continue riding along the coast until you reach Peka Peka beach then turn around and ride back to Paraparaumu.
It all depending on how your time is going, so you’ll have to make this decision.
Mediterranean Food Warehouse
After spending the afternoon enjoying riding, you will probably be very hungry and thirsty. Paraparaumu has some great restaurants (and some not so great!) but one of my favourites is called the Mediterranean Food Warehouse, in the Coastlands shopping area in the centre of the city.
It looks quite ordinary from the outside; in fact we didn’t bother trying it until it was recommended to us.
They serve Italian cuisine in a very relaxed dining experience; you order at the desk and they bring it over to you.
Where they really shine though is their pizzas where they make the bases by hand and you can really taste the difference, plus they have some great combination of topping ingredients.
If you go on a Monday they currently have a great offer where you get a free pizza when you buy one.
Once you’ve eaten your fill then ride back to Rumati South (as you need to work off those calories!) then finally drive back to Wellington.