Visiting the Kapiti Coast with Kids? – Pop these parks on your ‘Go To’ list.

Last Thursday  Alex, Frankie and I said goodbye to Chris (he had to work) and set off on holiday with my Mum, my Brother and his Family.  Mum had booked us all into a holiday home at Paraparaumu Beach via www.bookabatch.co.nz My mums side of the family all live in the area including her Mum and Dad,  so as well as a bit of a holiday for us and all the kids, we also caught up with loads of cousins and my Grandparents at the same time.

The Kapiti Coast is such a beautiful place to explore, the beaches, the parks, the bush it’s all there.    Seeing it now through the eyes of my children is even better.  It’s amazing what you don’t notice until you have little people and see things with fresh new eyes and get excited about everything.

On our first day, we ventured out to Kaitawa Reserve looking for Pirate Treasure, golden painted rocks that had been hidden within the reserve.  Weeks before I had joined the Kapiti Rocks Facebook page and found a post with a treasure map that had directions to the pirate loot.  The kids were ecstatic when they found it.  Rock painting is certainly a great way to get out and about and find hidden parks and reserves not only in your own town but also while on holiday.    This reserve is a definite must do for anyone visiting the Kapiti Coast.   There are walkways, with bridges and steps so you can wander through the native bush.  We found hidden pathways and steps down to the many streams.  Native birds singing, we watched a wood pigeon fly an arm’s length away from us and then sit watching us from its perch in the tree.  It really is quite a magical place.

The highlight of the reserve though was finding an epic flying fox.   This is something out the 80’s with the added value of millennium safety modifications.  Comfortable pommel seat and knowing there is no way you are going to slam into the wooden pole at the end.   The flying fox had enough scare factor making it exciting for older children and adults.   Near the end, you flew over a small stream and then bounced into the stopping spring which then pushed you back across the stream so you hop off and walk back up the hill. We definitely need more of this sort of play equipment in New Zealand, parks and reserves and not the plastic fantastic new school play equipment that have no real challenge to it.  We spent over an hour all taking turns on it, and only moved on because some other people came over to use it. The kids would have spent all day on it. Even the little ones had a go while sitting on us.

Later on in the day, we headed down to Marine Gardens at Raumati Beach, I saw some photos of this park online and thought the slide looked like something the kids would enjoy.   This is a cute beachside park, it has a huge enclosed slide, similar to a water slide, it also has a great splash pad and a large sandpit with working diggers.   We were there late on a Friday afternoon before the stormy weather hit, so we had it to ourselves.  I imagine this would be a busy place on a Sunny weekend day.   This park also hosts the Kapiti Miniature Railway Club, trains run most Sundays, (weather permitting).

The last park we visited was MacLean Park at Paraparaumu Beach and shops.   This park has had a much-needed upgrade in the past few years.   What we all loved about this park is that there is a tractor and boat as the main feature.  Alex could spend hours here pretending to launch the boat and then go fishing.    Just over the bank is the beach and throughout the day you will see large boats launching from the beach.   On a Saturday morning just behind the shops, you will find a hive of activity at the market.   Vegetables, preserves, speciality bread and few other interesting stall holders make up this unique market.

This is just a snippet of the adventures you can have on the Kapiti Coast.  We certainly didn’t have long enough to explore and sadly the weather closed in for our second day.   I can’t wait to take the kids back again soon to visit this very beautiful part of the country.

Let us know the places you have taken your children so I can add them to the list for our next visit.

Becks

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