New Zealand’s own stairway to heaven

The Escarpment Track is renowned for its hundreds of steps but the spectacular views of the Kāpiti coastline and beyond make it all worthwhile

People walking over swing bridge on Escarpment trail

You can access the Escarpment Track from either Paekākāriki or Pukerua Bay, both an easy one-hour journey from Wellington by train or car. Follow the signposts to the start of the trail.

You can either take two cars and park one at either end of the track. Or, if you are leaving your car at one end, it’s an easy train ride back from Pukerua Bay to Paekākāriki, or vice versa. Train timetables are available from the Metlink website and tickets can be purchased onboard with cash.

Boost your energy levels

Before tackling the Escarpment Track grab brunch and a coffee to kick-start your day at either the Beach Road Deli or The Perching Parrot, both situated in the charming Paekākāriki.

beach road deli
Te Araroa Paekakariki Escarpment Walk
Te Araroa Paekakariki Escarpment Walk swing bridge
Te Araroa Paekakariki Escarpment Walk_women walking on the swing bridge with stunning view

A cut above

With family and/or friends in tow, get set for one of the region’s finest walking experiences that is part of the Te Araroa Trail, the Escarpment Track that runs from Paekākāriki to Pukerua Bay.

A short walk from the township will take you to the start of the 9km-long Escarpment Track, which follows the Kāpiti coastline and veers uphill over farmland.

Along the way you’ll climb 220 metres above sea level, scale about 1,200 steps, navigate narrow pathways across ridgelines and traverse two swing bridges.

It’s not for the faint-hearted but families and people of all ages enjoy the track, the highlight being the sweeping views of Kāpiti Island from high above.

Relax and unwind

Once you’ve caught your breath, take a short drive to nearby Raumati Beach for fish and chips from Raumati Fish Supply and head to Queen Elizabeth Park (part of the Te Ara o Whareroa trail) for a picnic at the beach.

If you still have energy, enjoy the array of short walks within the 650ha park, a walk along the pristine beach or get out the frisbee or cricket bat.

You can also journey into the past – check out the memorial where you can learn about the US Marines based there during WWII and take a ride on the historic tram that runs on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays.

Tramway Queen Elizabeth Park Kāpiti


Ready to start your trail adventure? Join the Find Your Wild - Wellington Regional Trails Facebook Group, share your adventure and go in the draw to win one of five staycations around the Wellington region.

Join to win