Our Destination

At the heart of Pāuatahanui is the Pāuatahanui Inlet, the only large estuarine wetland left in the lower half of New Zealand’s North Island. 

Situated at the eastern end of the Inlet is the small village of Pāuatahanui. The village has some of the oldest buildings in the Wellington region and is a reminder of the importance of Pāuatahanui to both Maori and European settlers. 

To the north and east of the village is a mix of rural lifestyle blocks and larger farms that provide a restful rural backdrop.

Top 5 things to do in PĀuatahanui Village 
1. Lavender Spa – Relaxing Spa Treatments

Lavender Spa & Skin Clinic provides specialist skincare and relaxation treatments with a holistic approach.

We pride ourselves on our qualified and passionate team of therapists and commitment to excellent service.

Our unique treatment range is developed through comprehensive training and investment in technology.

A destination location, our boutique salon is ideal for relaxation.

2. Lighthouse Cinema – Showcasing Latest Movies

Light House Cinema is an independent, locally run, Wellington business. We show a diverse range of applauded independent films and some brilliant blockbusters too. Always looking for quality of genre, we take the guess work out of film choice.

Unwind in our comfortable foyers with our great coffee, fresh food, boutique beers and fine wines. Then sit back and relax in our cosy cinemas as we show you the world.

3. Ground Up Café – Food Oasis

Groundup Cafe offers variety and quality. With a commitment to excellent coffee, including Ripe Coffee, the cafe ensures that patrons enjoy a premium coffee experience. 

The availability of a comprehensive brunch providing a wide array of options and impressive range of dishes such as chicken salads, seasonal soups, corn fritters, sandwiches, pannis, scones, muffins, brownies and slices. 

Their genuine hospitality and efficient service contribute significantly to being a popular cafe. 

The combination of relaxing decor and a warm atmosphere, complemented by the presence of a wood fire during winter, adds an inviting touch. 

4. Te Ara Piko – Flat Walking Track

Te Ara Piko Pathway and the Pāuatahanui Wildlife Management Reserve Take a stroll along “The Meandering Path” through native salt marshes and wetland habitat.

It’s home to many native plants and birds, and you might spot mud crabs if you keep your eyes peeled when crossing bridges. Pop into one of the bird-viewing hides and you could see white-faced herons, oyster catchers, royal spoonbills, banded dotterels, white-fronted terns, pied stilts or many other wonderful birds.

Motukaraka Point Reserve

A lovely spot on Pāuatahanui Inlet that’s the perfect stop-off for a picnic if you’re walking the Te Ara Piko pathway. This picturesque point boasts a wide range of bird life for the ornithology enthusiasts among you and is great for kayaking and windsurfing.

5. Battle Hill Forest Park – The Rural Experience 

Get out on the farm at Battle Hill Farm Forest Park. There’s 500 hectares of working cattle, sheep and deer farm which you can explore via a range of easy to challenging trails and walkways. Take your tent and stay awhile or pack a picnic and stay the day. This is a great place for mountain bikes, horses or people just wanting to stroll over paddocks and through wetlands, native bush and forest.

Client testimonials

"What an amazing experience. The wonderful Stephanie and her staff provide a first class caring and relaxing service of five star excellence. Thank you ladies I'll be back."


"After years of struggling with acne and taking harsh medications to suppress it, I came across the Lavender Spa and Skin Clinic online. My skin and overall health have greatly improved thanks to the Lavender Clinic. Anyone with acne or other skin conditions should definitely consider visiting this clinic!"


"Had a wonderful first time experience here. Tessa was great and made me feel really welcome. Amazing, relaxing hot stone massage!! Will definitely be back…"


"What a nice relaxing local venue. Had a full body massage and it was wonderful to lie back and listen to the birds through the open window. Very comparable to spa's in Wellington without the travel. Will definitely be back - Thanks Chrisie for the experience."


"Thank you Stephanie for creating such a beautiful space and making me feel so relaxed and comfortable and beautiful! Look forward to coming in again soon :)"


"I absolutely loved my visit to Lavender spa & skin clinic. Tessa was really lovely and welcoming. Great location, great range of services. Definitely will come again :)"


"Always a lovely experience having a treatment at Lavender Spa. All the staff are friendly, professional and happy to share their wealth of knowledge regarding skincare and treatments. Beautiful products and location, would absolutely recommend to treat yourself or as a voucher for the perfect gift."


"Lavender Spa is my favourite destination for total relaxation, the treatments are beautiful and the location is divine, a stunning spot away from the hustle and bustle of city life"