The magical atmosphere of the Kapiti Coast landscape that we know so well today, was created by gigantic earthquakes 200 million years ago.
The upheavals exposed a 10 km long block of rock that now sits as an island 5.6km from the mainland and protects a series of small settlements from the westerly gales.
Behind, the coast is sheltered from the south by the massive Tararua Ranges.
The result is a spectacular landscape and microclimate that has made the Kapiti Coast one of the most desirable places in the world to live. It explains why the major growth industry of the 1990s has been retirement villages, which attract residents from many parts of the world.
There are two main reasons for the urban settlements being where they are along the Kapiti Coast: firstly, this is where the original Maori tribes had their villages, close to fresh running water; secondly, they are on the route of the main trunk railway line.
The principal fixed visitor attractions (in no particular order) are: Kapiti Island Nature Reserve; the beaches; Coastlands Shoppingtown; Te Wananga O Raukawa (the Maori university at Otaki); the retirement villages; the sea fishing; Nga Manu Wildlife Sanctuary; the gardens; the golf courses and bowling greens; the Fly By Wire Adventure Ride; Paekakariki Steam Museum; Tararua Ranges adventures; Southward’s Car Museum; Lindale Visitor Centre; Paraparaumu Airport.