Akatarawa Road connects Waikanae to Upper Hutt, climbing over west coast mountain ranges and through native forest. Beware, the road is exceptionally narrow and windy, even for New Zealand, and long vehicles are prohibited. Due to the low speed required to take the road safely, it’s not really any quicker to take Akatarawa Road than the longer State Highways that connect to the south, but it is certainly a more scenic route!
There are a few points of interest along the way, including Staglands, a wildlife reserve and cafe, the lovely Jock Atkins Waterfall, and a number of crossings of various waterways. At the Upper Hutt end, you can also access Karapoti Road and the popular mountain biking trail at its end, Karapoti Track, as well as blueberry farms open for picking during the summer season.