A drive up the West Coast from Wellington is not to be missed. State Highway 1 leads you north, and about a half hour out of the city you hit the water at Paremata. From here you can take State 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. Both routes lead to Paekakariki (pie-kahk-a-reeky), a small, artsy beach town.
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