A drive up the West Coast from Wellington is not to be missed. State Highway 1 takes you north, and about a half hour out of the city you hit the coast at Paremata. From here you can follow South Highway 1 straight up the Kapiti Coast, so called for the view of Kapiti Island. Alternatively, you can take the longer—but infinitely more scenic—drive around the Pauatahanui Inlet and Bird Sanctuary, following the road along
the ridge of the rugged, winding, and windy Paekakariki Hill where stunning views of the coastline and Kapiti Island await you. Both routes lead to Paekakariki (pie-kahk-a-reeky), a small, artsy beach town.