Ara Harakeke Pathway, Paremata to Pukerua Bay, Porirua
Updated: Jun 6
Saturday 28th May 2022
Location: Paremata Station, Porirua 5024.
Ara Harakeke is an urban adventure walk between Paremata and Pukerua Bay. It has beach access, scenic views, flax swamps, rock pools and heaps to see and do on the way. It’s quite a popular cycle way but if you’re walking it, you'll likely go one-way and catch the train back. There is a gentle incline heading from Paremata to Pukerua Bay but it isn't steep so we'd recommend working out which direction you walk based on the wind.
We started at Paremata Station. The adults of the party (Mum and Dad) usually prefer tranquil bushwalks, but today we were on an urban adventure.
Starting at the station we headed north over the bridge. The pathway began at the other end of the bridge, from there we headed west under the train tracks and towards Mana Marina.
Walking through the marina and past the sports fields made the kids fizz. With so much going on the beginning was quite slow going - we had to stop EVERYWHERE. From reading all the boat names, watching the fishers at the wharves, spotting playgrounds and watching the Saturday morning games on the sports fields. The kids thought this was the business.
Once past Mana Station, the first of the beaches appeared. From here we had a beautiful view of the South Island.
We wandered a little further up and then decided to dropped down to the rock pools and walk along the beach instead.
Miss 7 always comes home with pockets of treasures. Mum suggests she just keep her favourites but she’s pretty certain that she can carry quite a lot :)
Halfway along we found a concrete machine gun bunker from the war which the kids thought was fantastic. There were other historic places like it around the Mana sports fields that we had inadvertently missed, also plenty more to come in Plimmerton.
We haven't spent much time in Plimmerton, so we enjoyed wandering
the streets. Miss 7 loved all the letterboxes on Steyne Avenue.
The pathway takes you under the Plimmerton Station and out to the Taupo Swamp. There is a public toilet on the east side of the train station.
Just before you get to the swamp there is a large off lead dog park. We stopped for lunch here so we could watch the dogs.
The next stage of the pathway winds past the Taupo Swamp towards the Whenua Tapu Cemetery. The track is wide and well maintained with plenty of views and benches along the way. The adults were a little perturbed by the road noise from SH59, the kids weren’t bothered.
After the Whenua Tapu Cemetery the path narrowed and started to incline as we headed to the top of Pukerua Bay.
The Ara Harakeke pathway essentially ends at the Pukerua Bay shops. This suited us just fine as that is where Archway Books is, one of the best second-hand bookshops in Wellington. We were glad we stopped in here at the end of our walk, carrying 10 books on the walk would have squashed our lunch.
Taking the train back to the car was another winner with the kids (an added bonus is that there is a little playground and skatepark at Pukerua Bay Station).
Age of Kids: Miss 7 and Master 9
Walking Time: 2-3 hours
Wet Feet: No (unless they head to the beach)
Amenities: Mana, Plimmerton and Pukarua Bay has all amenities.
Dogs: Yes, though on lead most of the way.
Cellphone Reception: Yes