Spectacular views are on offer from the heights of Whareroa Farm
PHOTO: Ann Evans | DOC


Walking, mountain biking, horse riding and picnicking are activities you can enjoy at Whareroa Farm, a recreation reserve near Paekakariki on the Kapiti coast.

Place overview


  • Horse riding
  • Mountain biking
  • Walking and tramping


  • Information panels
  • Picnic tables

Find things to do Whareroa Farm

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    About this place

    Nature and conservation

    Whareroa Farm is a recreation reserve offering walking, picnicking, biking, and horse-riding, with links to the adjoining Akatarawa Forest and Queen Elizabeth Park across State highway 1.  

    The Department of Conservation works closely with the Whareroa Guardians Community Trust to manage the reserve. 

    View from the top of Whareroa Farm, near the Campbell's Mill Road entrance, Photo: Jeremy Rolfe.
    View from the top of Whareroa Farm, near the Campbell's Mill Road entrance

    Whareroa is a successful example of land being managed for conservation, recreation and farming.

    The majority of the area comprises regenerating retired pasture, pockets of native and non-native bush and a network of tracks.

    Native forest remnants, streams and wetland areas are being restored by volunteers led by the Whareroa Guardians.

    Around 180ha of Whareroa Farm remains as a working sheep and cattle farm, which is not accessible to the public.

    History and culture

    Until 1850, Whareroa was used for horticulture by Māori, who established their pa sites on the flat land.

    Sheep graze at Whareroa Farm. Photo: Jeremy Rolfe.
    Sheep graze at Whareroa Farm

    The area was first farmed by Alexander MacKay in 1850 and it was later passed to the Wellington Hospital Board as a potential site for a chest hospital.

    In 1942 Whareroa was acquired for defence purposes and became a training and recuperation camp for US Marines fighting in the Pacific campaign. 

    After World War Two the Lands and Survey Department developed Whareroa as a public recreation and education farm park. 

    In 1987, Lands and Survey underwent restructuring and was divided to form Landcorp and the Department of Conservation. Landcorp managed Whareroa and it was closed to the public. 

    The formation of the Whareroa Guardians group in 2003 resulted from a community campaign to prevent the Farm from being sold for private development by restoring it as public land.

    The Guardians' campaigning was successful and in 2005, the Government purchased Whareroa to be managed by the Department of Conservation.

    Getting there

    Take the Mackay's Crossing exit to Queen Elizabeth Park, approximately 3.5km north of Paekakariki. 

    Parking is available for cars and buses.

    Know before you go

    • Off-road vehicles and motorbikes are not permitted.
    • There is no public access to the grazed areas. 
    • Dogs are not permitted. 
    • Fires are not permitted.
    • Please take your rubbish with you when you leave.

    Opening hours

    Summer (daylight saving time): 8:00am - 9:00pm
    Winter: 8:00am - 6:00pm

    Farmed areas of Whareroa Farm are closed to visitors during lambing and calving from 18 July to 30 September. Keep out of the signposted closed farmland areas, including any tracks across them, during this period. Closed areas include the Cairn View Track.

    Whareroa Farm Plan

    This plan has been prepared to ensure that the management of Whareroa is set up on a sustainable basis with activities and uses well-matched to underlying land capability. Whareroa Farm Plan (PDF, 9000K). Note this is a large file that will take time to download.

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    Kapiti Wellington Visitor Centre
    Phone:   +64 4 384 7770
    Address:   18 - 32 Manners Street
    Email:   wellingtonvc@doc.govt.nz
    Full office details
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