Kapakapanui is an isolated minor peak of 1102 metres in the southwest corner of the range, dominating the skyline from Paraparaumu and Waikanae.
The open summit of Kapakapanui is one of the best viewpoints in the Tararua Range, revealing not only the full extent of the Southern Crossing, but also the featureless forested maze of the Renata-Maymorn-Akatarawa uplands, as well as the sweep of the Kapiti coastline and the dramatic silhouette of Kapiti Island 22 km to the west.
The climb is steep and the track rough and muddy in places, with the forest still bearing the marks of the devastating 1936 cyclonic storm.
Facilities: 6 bunk beds, heating, mattresses
Bookings not required - first come, first served
From Waikanae (north of Wellington) follow Reikorangi Road and turn into Ngatiawa Road.
From the Hutt Valley follow Akatarawa Road and turn into Ngatiawa Road at the junction. Carry on for another 3 - 4km to the carpark.
Know before you go
The track begins on private property. Please park considerately and keep dogs on a lead. The first 15 to 20 minutes require several unbridged river crossings, be prepared to get wet feet. Do not attempt to cross if the river is in flood.
Before you go into the outdoors, tell someone your plans and leave a date to raise the alarm if you haven't returned. To do this, use the New Zealand Outdoors Intentions process on the AdventureSmart website. It is endorsed by New Zealand's search and rescue agencies and provides three simple options to tell someone you trust the details about your trip.