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10 Fun Things to do in Porirua

Phillip Capper on Flickr

A quick city escape!

Tucked alongside two harbours, parks and scenic reserves, Porirua is a popular city escape for those staying in Wellington. With the small Wellington district just a 20-minute drive or train ride north, how can you miss it?!

If the stunning sunsets don’t entice you, then maybe Porirua city’s key charms will. It has all the things we know and love from a New Zealand settlement: hills to hike, coasts to explore, and quirky museums. Looking for something adventurous? Try Adrenalin Forest, mini-golf or go-karting. Grab a few of your new-found backpacker mates and enjoy some good simple fun! On the other hand, finding places for a bit of solitude is never too hard on top of the Colonial Knob Reserve!

So take a look at these things to do in Porirua and see why so many backpackers either make this their base for working in Wellington, or why this is such an compelling destination in itself!

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1. Hike to the summit at Colonial Knob (1-2 hours one way)

The Colonial Knob Scenic Reserve has three walking tracks, two of which reach the summit by passing through native forest and farmland. Both the Summit Track and The Broken Hill Track takes 1-2 hours one way. You’ll be rewarded with views over the city and Cook Strait (the ocean between the North Island and South Island).

Location: Broken Hill Road, Colonial Knob Scenic Reserve
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2. Adrenalin Forest

Everyone knows that a good way to spend the day is to hang around in the trees! Adrenalin Forest is here to serve with this aerial obstacle course reaching 31-metres high. Swing, zipline and climb your way through the forest.

Location: The park is on Okowai Road, opposite Aotea College.

3. Take the coastal Wairaka Walkway (4 hours oneway)

Explore the coast between Pukerua Bay and Plimmerton! Clear days give views of Kapiti Island. Return to the start point by the train between Pukerua Bay and Plimmerton.

Location: Pukerua Bay Beach to Moana Rd, Plimmerton.


4. Go-karting

New Zealand’s longest indoor track is at North City Raceway. Grab a few mates and get your race on!

Location: Raiha St, Elsdon

5. Pirates Cove mini-golf

Good, simple fun. We’re not judging here: play a 18 hole round of mini-golf with waterfalls, caves and even a pirate ship! Woo!

Location: Elsdon waterfront.

6. Play real golf

For those too good for mini-golf, check out some of the real golf courses scattered around the Porirua district.

Location: Titahi Bay, Judgeford at Pauatahanui, and Pauatahanui at Paekakariki Hill Road.

7. Whitireia Park

You’ll find some good beaches, especially for a swim in summer. Whitireia Park is also home to the 2-hour Onepoto loop track around the park which offers incredible views of the small bay. Our tip: Time your hike with sunset! (And pack a torch light…)

Location: Whitireia Road, Titahi Bay
Phillip Capper on Flickr

8. Go to the movies

There are two cinemas in Porirua, the Readings Cinema and the Lighthouse Theatre. The Lighthouse Theatre is one of the oldest cinemas in New Zealand and the first one to serve food and drinks along with your movie.

Location: Readings Cinema, upstairs in North City Shopping Centre and Lighthouse Theatre on Paekakariki Hill Road.


9. New Zealand Police Museum

This one is an acquired taste, but if you are interested in law enforcement in New Zealand then the New Zealand Police Museum is the place to be. Admission is free!

Location: Papakowhai Rd, Papakowhai
 Photos_by_Angela on Flickr

10. Aotea Lagoon

Locals love the Aotea Lagoon, whether it’s to run laps of the lagoon or feed the ducks. But if you’re staying a while in Porirua, then Aotea Lagoon is a picture perfect place to relax.

Location: A few minutes north of Porirua City on State Highway 1
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