In February 2011 Metro services were extended from Paraparaumu to Waikanae. This was the first extension to the electrified network since 1982 and brought regular commuter to services to Waikanae for the first time.
Paraparaumu derived its name from a Maori war party, which, on arriving there, found only ‘parapara’ (scraps) at an ‘umu’ (earth oven). Today you will find an impressive array of shops and restaurants opposite the Railway station at Coastlands Shopping Centre, open every day.
Paraparaumu Beach, which can be reached by bus from the station, is a favourite with families. It overlooks the impressive Kapiti Island, once home to the warrior chief Te Rauparaha who dominated much of the southern North Island from his base there. Today the island is a bird sanctuary and can be visited with special permission from the Department of Conservation.
Alternatively, head to the end of the line to Waikanae and visit the local art galleries or head to the beach that is great for swimming and long beachcombing sessions. The local nature reserve provides a unique opportunity to learn the natural history of New Zealand, also providing an opportunity to feed some eels. This is all accessible by bus from the Train Station. Waikanae also has a range of good shops and accommodation.
Even without all of Paraparaumu’s and Waikanae's appeal, a Tranz Metro train trip on the Kapiti Line is a unique experience, showing you bush clad valleys, sheltered harbours, rugged cliffs and some of New Zealand’s finest coastal scenery crammed into an hour trip. So take it easy and take the train and explore the Kapiti Coast.
Tranz Metro has a range of excursion fares designed to suit all travel options. Two options are the Day Rover or the Group Rover ticket which allow all day train travel. But, best of all you can get on and off the trains to visit different places and even travel on other lines during the same day. These tickets can be purchased on the train.