Paraparaumu. At the first set of traffic lights (heading north) you can turn left down Te Moana Road towards Waikanae Beach, or you can carry on to the second set of traffic lights and turn right over the railway line to Reikorangi.
Waikanae is known for its beautiful homes and gardens. Much of Waikanae was once market garden land with rich fertile soil ideal for growing fruit, veges and flowers. Until recent times Waikanae was a sleepy place for holidays or retirement, but is now a growing community with 15,000 residents.
When travelling down Te Moana Road in your rental car, look out on your right for the turn-off too the Nga Manu Nature Reserve. Plan to spend about one or two hours at Nga Manu where you'll see a diverse range of native flora and fauna. All pathways are easily walked and there is plenty of seating around the reserve.
Nga Manu is home to 56 different bird species and you could get to see: Fantail, Kiwi, Tuatara, Skinks, Gecko, Wetas, Tui, Morepork, Wood pigeon, Blue duck, Scaup, Paradise duck, Kakariki, Teal, and many other native birds and animals. Bird feeding time is 11am and eel feeding time is at 2pm daily.
The Waikanae River runs to the south Waikanae and is a popular walkway for locals. There are several swimming holes and whitebaiting at the mouth of the Waikanae Estuary is popular in season. If you are feeling energetic, there is a footbridge over the Waikanae River from Waikanae to Otaihanga Park.
For art lovers, a visit to the Mahara Gallery is a must. The Mahara Gallery showcases the work of many local artists and is centrally located in the Waikanae shopping centre.
Take your rental car and head east over the railway line for a short drive to the Reikorangi Valley. Here you'll find the Reikorangi Pottery Park where you can enjoy great coffee and lots of animals and bird life in a real country setting.