Paekakariki Escarpment Walkway

Paekakariki Escarpment Walkway

Paekakariki Escarpment Walkway
4.5
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Duration: More than 3 hours
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles148 reviews
Excellent
101
Very good
36
Average
9
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Kate 50
New Zealand125 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2021 • Friends
Going through the reviews I'm surprised at how the height factor has been downplayed or maybe heights aren't an issue for these people. I felt like I was in Cliffhanger or a reality show 😭

For context, I'm a fit, active 30 something who does regular HITT and F45 classes. So the fitness or length of the track isn't the issue. I do have a fear of heights, but have done many day walks around NZ and have done overnight tramping trips.

This is a very scary tramp if you have any fear of heights. If you have a moderate fear of heights in exposed places (I'm fine up in the Empire State Building or the CN Tower in Toronto in buildings), or suffer from any dizziness or vertigo with heights, do not do this walk. Around 80-90% of the walk has a steep, exposed fall where you could lose your life. Once you start there isn't anywhere to go and I had to dig deep with friends around me to get through. I won't be doing this again. I wouldn't take members of my family or the elderly there ever. Not unless the track get major upgrades, including rails and proper grit.

The track is standard NZ track, but those from Europe of North America need to be aware these aren't like your national parks tracks. The track is often narrow and the gravel can get slippery. There are no rails and I was clawing and gripping the sides of vegetation. To get down the stairs we often went on our bums. It was a huge mind game, especially when rocks where crumbling and I could hear them fall down the cliff to the cars below that looked like ants. I managed to get a photo while sweaty and gripping to the ledge, most likely white as a sheet 😅

This was the scariest thing I have done physically and is not the relaxing half day walk with decent wooden tracks and rails that I was hoping for. I wouldn't be surprised if on a windy day someone is seriously injured or loses there life with an unlucky slip. I wouldn't believe those who downplay how steep and unsafe this is.
Written 8 January 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

CIMG
Wellington, New Zealand180 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2023 • Couples
Awesome walk with truly spectacular views. We parked at Paekākāriki and took the train’s bus replacement to Pukerua Bay. The walk starts in back streets behind the train station and then over Muri Reserve and past the abandoned Muri station. Great views of Pukerua Bay after that. Then the fun starts. Two swing bridges and multiple steps as well as a long detour (with ropes for the steepest bits!) over a part of the track that has slipped away. Some respite through with some shady bush areas before climbing up and up and up and up to eventually reach a stunning lookout with 270 degree views from Plimmerton to Paraparaumu. From there it is a climb down to the railway line, a final rise up and down and then thru the bush and down SH59 for a little bit back to Paekākāriki. Activity tracker said we had walked 10km and gone up 106 floors! Take lots of water and tread very carefully on the narrow bits. There have been 2 falls in the track in the past week alone …
Written 2 January 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Brendon B
Wellington, New Zealand14 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2022
It really was a bit of a gutbuster walk that didn't achieve the right enjoyment/exertion ratio. The 1,200 steps mean the track has a lot of 'up & down' and there is little bush (therefore little shade) and being so narrow you have to look at your feet a lot – or you'll go over the (very steep) side!

The views are good but Whitereia Park in Porirua city has better for far less effort – and you have time to look at them as you walk along! May sound cynical but ... actually seemed a bit of a tourist trap because I can't see why they went to all the effort for really other than to suck tourist $ into Paekākāriki shops.
Written 31 March 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

familyoffiveonhols
New Zealand264 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
We did this walk on a typical Wellington summer day (windy). We decided to start at Paekakariki so that the wind was behind us. We had also heard that the zig zag steps were easier from this side. We did this with three children ranging in age from teenagers to a 8 year old. It took us 3 1/2 hrs and we stopped for some lunch for 20mins at the lookout. The views are incredible throughout the walk but the wind at times can make the whole walk seem 'wild'. The steps are steep and completely open which at times made us feel very exposed, but the bridges made the wind seem a million times worse. We certainly had mixed emotions on the crossings!!! If you enjoy a good walk and some beautiful views it is a must do. I should say if you are fitter and younger this could certainly be done in a quicker time. The teenager in our group complained that we slowed him down!!!!
Written 2 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Naija M
Algiers, Algeria1,002 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
July 2023 • Friends
We drove to Paekākāriki to begin the walk and caught the train back afterwards, the train fares being very reasonable. The walk takes you along the escarpment and will take approximately three hours to complete. The views of the ocean are quite stunning and the immediate surroundings are very peaceful. You are constantly going up and down so you need to be reasonably fit and used to hiking. There are a couple of magnificent bridges to walk across which may be a problem if you struggle with heights. I was impressed with how well the path is maintained. We chose to go on a public holiday so it was fairly busy but that wasn’t a problem. Fortunately it was a clear sunny day, I wouldn’t fancy the walk on a wet, windy day.
Written 27 July 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Charlotte H
Wellington, New Zealand9 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
We walked Pukerua Bay to Paekakariki - there were a couple of steep stair climbs but we didnt rush it and it seemed easier to do those and then wind down the path to Paekakariki than the other way. Also there is a great cafe with delicious pizzas at the Paekakariki end.
Our group ranged from 11yrs to 78yrs and we took just under 4 hours which included many stops to take in the awesome views.
Written 12 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

mdc12963
Wellington, New Zealand47 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2021
a really interesting hike up on the hill above Paekariki and pukera bay looking out towards kapiti island.
the track is good with steps in the steep parts and 2 swing bridges. the start and finish were quite easy to find and the trackwas well sign posted
Written 5 February 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jontio
2 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
June 2022
I went on a very windy day where Mana island (an island nearby) recorded 78km/h gusts. It had also had heavy rain a few hours before I walked it. As others mention most is exposed and some very steep parts. With the wind I had to be extremely careful in some places that jutted out from the hill but psychologically the wind was tricky too. With wind on steep cliffs vertigo seems to be exacerbated. Not looking down and keeping close and low to the bank helped. Needless to say I didn't meet anyone on the track.

Even though it had recently rained it wasn't too muddy, just the odd spot.

The swing bridges with that kind of wind was the scariest thing by far, it was like riding a bucking bronco as the wind hurtled up the valleys.

Yup lots of steps. Initially it's pretty flat then it's up and down a few times. I didn't pay the view much attention as the weather was awful but yup it had a view when up high.

So unless you are an adrenaline junky I would suggest choosing a day with winds as light as possible as it's always windier the higher up you go. It's a reasonably tough walk so make sure you are fit enough and are not too affected by vertigo.
Written 1 June 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

steamin
Wellington, New Zealand42 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Couples
We choose to walk this track as so many people have said that is a great walk with great views. We started at Pukerua Bay station and walked towards Paekakariki. We thought this was a good idea so we could be rewarded with something nice at the cafes. We then caught ther train back which cost around $4 each . If you don't mind a steep walk with narrow track you will enjoy this. Even the infamous stairway to heaven was a good challenge. If you don't mind ascending 1000+ steps in a row start at Pukerua Bay otherwise start at the other end .
Written 12 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

vp3681
National Park Village, New Zealand39 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
Excellent day hike, usually 3.50 hours but can extend to 4 hours depending on the breaks etc.

We parked the car and then started from the Paekakariki station.

You can go from Paekakariki to Pukekura or viceversa.The only good thing from Paekakariki is there are less steps to climb and more to descend.

If you are only after the swing bridges, then start and return to Pukekura bay, should be around 10 kms.

Word of caution, don't underestimate the wind or sun at that height. Do carry cap , glasses and enough water during the hike.
Written 2 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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