Spectacular views are on offer from the heights of Whareroa Farm

Image: 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


  • Information panels
  • Picnic tables


  • Horse riding
  • Mountain biking
  • Walking and tramping

Find things to do and places to stay Whareroa Farm

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 SH1

DOC works closely with the Whareroa Guardians Community Trust to manage the reserve.

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 180 ha 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 pā sites on the flat land.

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 DOC. 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 DOC.

The Whareroa Farm Plan (PDF, 9,000K) ensures it is sustainably managed.

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

  • Water provided is not fit for drinking – bring your own drinking water
  • Off-road vehicles and motorbikes are not permitted.
  • There is no public access to the grazed areas except on marked walking tracks.
  • Dogs are not permitted. 
  • Fires are not permitted.

Opening hours

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

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.


Kapiti Wellington Visitor Centre
Phone:   +64 4 384 7770
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Email:   wellingtonvc@doc.govt.nz
Address:   18 - 32 Manners Street
Postal Address:   PO Box 10420
The Terrace
Wellington 6143
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