Top Horse Riding Trails on the Kāpiti Coast

Complete with picturesque beaches, gentle riverbanks, urban bridleways and vast nature reserves, the Kāpiti Coast is a horse rider’s paradise

Beach and river trekking

The sandy beaches and shady river trails in the Kāpiti Coast are popular destinations for horse riders. Ride the banks of the Ōtaki River from the southern end of Ōtaki Beach and continue past State Highway 1 or take a detour to join the popular Chrystalls Bend Walkway.

If you’re after a beachside ride to fill a sunny day, start from Ōtaki Beach at the the Ōtaki River mouth and ride north along the sandy beachfront to Waitarere Beach or as far north as the Ohau river.

Peka Peka Beach also provides a myriad of options for horse riders and is a great place to start a ride with horse float parking and mounting blocks at Peka Peka Road, Te Hapua Road and Sims Road. Head north on a return trip to Ōtaki River, or south to Waikanae Beach.

A popular track for horse riders, Waikanae River Trail makes up a section of the national Te Araroa Trail. Follow the blue track markers to cross the river in shallow areas or wind in and out of the main track for a more off-trail adventure along the South bank. Float parking and a mounting block is available at Greenaway Road and on Nimmo Avenue East on the Northern side of the Waikanae river.

group horse riding at Otaki Beach
People riding horses on Waikanae River Trail
Horse riding Otaki Beach
Raumati sign post

Urban rides

The Kāpiti Coast Cycle Trail is an easy trail that runs adjacent to the Kāpiti Expressway between Raumati South and Te Horo. Starting from Poplar Avenue in Raumati South and finishing at Te Hapua Road in Te Horo, the trail can be travelled in both directions and provides plenty of options to branch off including the Waikanae River Trail and Te Ara O Whareroa. Popular with walkers, bikers and horse riders, there are diversions for horses to avoid the major road bridges and even includes New Zealand’s first horse pedestrian light.

A 22.6km network of quiet rural streets, Sims Road & Te Horo Bridleways is ideal for exploring on horseback. With access to Kāpiti’s picturesque beaches and Bus Stop Café – complete with a hitching rail and paddock for the horses – there are plenty of opportunities for a day out with the horses.

Hill hacking

Whareroa Farm, a shared recreation reserve, provides a network of horse riding trails through retired pastureland, native bush, and wetlands. Farm Race Track is a trail popular for horse riders taking you on a direct route into the heart of Whareroa Farm. From the top of the track, join the Car Park to Campbell’s Mill Road trail and follow the stream up through regenerating native forest. This track is steep in places.

Car park to Campbells Mill Road Kapiti Island in the background
Horse riding Otaki Beach

Horse trekking

Located in Queen Elizabeth Park for plenty of great trails to explore on horseback, Kapiti Stables provides horse trekking, lessons, birthday parties and holiday programmes. Beachbrook Stables is a short walk from Otaki Beach and offer treks ideal for novice riders along Otaki Beach, forest and river.

Kapiti Equestrian, on the northern bank of the Waikanae River, offer great school holiday programmes and lessons. For the more experienced riders, Te Horo Equestrian has a range of treks, lessons, group programmes and even overnight horse B&B and camping options.

Looking for more inspiration on the Kāpiti Coast? Explore where to stay and play with your horse this summer.

Ride the Kāpiti Coast

kapiti stables horse riding

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