Local experience: Kapiti coast
The 46 kilometre Kapiti Coast has safe endless beaches to stroll and is rich in Maori history. Visitors exploring the many bird sanctuaries – including the internationally renowned Kapiti Island – never forget their experiences. Being leeward of Kapiti Island delivers the benefits of an ecoclimate. This landscape inspires relaxation yet offers ample for the adventurer. The temperate climate allows golf year around at the internationally renowned links course and the world class car museum is a must. It is a hub to Wellington, Wairarapa, with flights to rest of the country from Paraparaumu Airport or from our own helipad.
Coastal plains with endless sandy beaches and reserves. Six townships run to their own rhythms of creative talent, entrepreneurial, baby boomers playground, retirement, local servicing and commuters. The treasure dominating the horizon is Kapiti Island which rewards with shelter and unbelievable sunsets.
Hiking & Walking:
Greenmantle tracks take guests through water gardens, Nikau forest with its own small amphitheatre up to a secluded native tree clearing for a breath then down again through more challenging Ponga forest. Nearby at the Waikanae Estuary there is a 5.43km track for biking and walking as part of the Otaihanga domain and Scientific Reserve. There are hours of different grade tracks in the Queen Elizabeth Park with its coastal and inland dunes backed by wetlands habitats. Or out into the endless beaches of the 46 kilometres of the Kapiti Coast…where our guests can stroll the roads less travelled with the fresh air clearing their heads…or even from the exhilaration of a helicopter. Thanks for this inspiring panoramic photo above from Kapiti Heliworx.
We can also arrange mountain bike & helmet hire for 1-3 days to make it possible to explore each day even more parts of this special coast and still get good exercise. There are convenient 20-30km tracks with charming local cafés placed strategically on route. For the wine lover who is capable of serious Tour de France hill climbs there is back route through beautiful mountains to the neighbouring Wairarapa vineyards for the day. For the more adventurous, together with Kapiti Heliworx we can now take mountain bikers up to the Devil Staircase in the Akatawara Forest Park!
Otaki Forks Rafting: (Minimum of 4 maximum 6)
Raft the scenic Otaki River with its sensible rapids having regular, medium sized waves, low ledges or drops, easy eddies and gradual bends. Under the careful influence of qualified guides, guest can have a go to take control of a raft, swim the rapids, find a rock to jump off, experience the waterfall in all its power, or simply sit back and enjoy the view, just remembering if you splash expect to get splashed back! An variation for guests wanting even more there is night rafting, guided by the glow worms that line the banks and the sounds of the approaching rapids.
(Minimum of 2 max 10)
Pop over the road to a Night at the Southward Car Museum for an exclusive escorted viewing of this world class facility to see not only formal exhibits but also what is in the shed ‘yet to restored’ or ‘under the hood’ with Southward’s experts.
Country horse racing at its best: (Minimum of 2 max 6. Subject to race day scheduling)
Spend a day at the Otaki-Maori Racing Club’s course that has enjoyed a long, colourful and successful history since its establishment in 1886 and proudly celebrates its cultural and ethnic heritage.
The track is only 18 minutes along from the lodge and is used daily by up to 140 horses in training, largely because of its ideal location in the central lower North Island, plus its excellent training facilities. Enjoy the comforts of local horse racing course from the comforts of the members stand with special hospitality Greenmantle will facilitate on the race days.
Scenic Helicopter flights:
(Either flight requires minimum of 2 subject to favourable weather conditions)
Kapiti Island was formed over 200 million years ago. The Island is rich in culture and history. Its impressively rugged cliffs and huge abundance of native growth and bird life offer some of the best vistas in New Zealand. Listen to the informative commentary as you are helicoptering your way through the air for 18 minutes to gain a perspective.
Mount Hector is a really spectacular delight and an alpine experience not to be missed for a 24-minute return flight. During the winter season it’s often snow capped at an altitude of 5000ft. Listen to informative stories of the Tararua Ranges of years gone by like how during the 1920s & 1930s skiers would tramp from the Otaki Forks to ski the slopes near Kime Hut.
(Suitable for 2 maximum four subject to favourable weather and tide conditions)
With the secure expertise of an international champion in the sport, Landsailing Kapiti familiarises our guests with what they need to know to take command in their own single seater New Zealand designed land yacht. Waikanae beach winds propel you along the coastline on low tide sands to a sense of freedom and your own controlled silent speed. Experience the intimate joy of sailing but without getting wet; glide without the height…accelerate through your skill in harnessing the winds. Experience euphoria of nature’s momentum for an hour; then catch your breath among the dunes with a Greenmantle beach picnic prosecco pack and local nibbles for après landsailing.
Wilderness & Wildlife
New Zealand Bird appreciation through:
- Escorted visits to the Kapiti Island Nature Reserve Bird Sanctuary to experience a unique balance of conservation, ecology and local human history. And if you are lucky there can be dolphins on the boat ride over.
- Nga Manu Nature Reserve with 700 different species of native plants and 56 different bird species come and go around the wetlands, bush and surroundings. In the enclosure there is the convenient opportunity to see Kiwis.
- Waikanae Estuary Scientific Reserve coastal birds in their natural habitat. Enjoy the magnificent scenery in a gentle stroll with our informative guide with tales from the riverbank and lagoons. He will help you observe the current residents which may include Caspian Terns, Royal spoonbills, Shags, Dabchicks, Scaup, Herons, Shovelers, Pukeko and many more of the 63 species of birds who visit or reside in the Estuary.
- Highlight option through advanced booking is dinner with the Greenmantle’s Advisory Ornithologist, crystallising what they saw, answering questions and recounting exploits.
(Suitable for experience riders; subject to favourable weather & tide conditions) Two-hour Waikanae Beach trek form the equestrian centre next to the Waikanae River in a beautiful rural setting, mount one of the well schooled horses or ponies, then ride down a track to wonderful beach on which to ride and outstanding sea vistas to enjoy along the sands of this wide open stretch for two hours with a stop at a beach café for good coffee and refreshments during the ride.
Other Experiences at Greenmantle
More details can be provide on the following:
The Kapiti Marine Reserve has revitalised sea life for divers to appreciate and for the recreational fishers (camera or even a rod and spear fishing). Fishing charters are available on the southern coasts toward Wellington with almost guaranteed catch for your lunch as well as white baiting at Waikanae and brown trout in the Otaki River.
Garden & Heritage Tours
Greenmantle’s own formal gardens have been a local feature enjoyed for decades. However, its native Nikau forest with dense canopy is a subtropical surprise. There are treats also nearby for passionate gardeners with a botanic interest both exotic and native.
Recline to relish the night sky from a lofty hill clearing with the enhancing effects of an overfilled glass of our moonshine. Greenmantle’s Astronomy Enthusiast will lead a visual journey through Southern hemisphere constellations then pick out of the seasonal darkness Maori Astronomy stories and the Transit of Venus.
After the last dance the couple is drained, thrilled, excited and pensive…but what happens immediately after they leave the wedding venue…where do they go? Greenmantle Après Wedding Reception Couples accommodation package is nearby so they can safely begin their honeymoon period in style to get their breath back and all in balance…