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A Manatū Taonga audio guide to Paekākāriki. Check out the Ministry for Culture and Heritage's audio guide in the image carousel above.

The pretty seaside town of Paekākāriki was a base for US troops during the Second World War. At one point more than 20,000 marines were stationed there -- considerably more than the town's population. Rugby fans appreciate Paekākāriki as the home town of All Black fullback Christian Cullen.

The camps -- US forces in New Zealand,

United States navy tragedy at Paekakariki,

Paekakariki camp for US forces,

Kapiti coast,


Roadside Stories are a series of audio guides to places of interest on major road trips in New Zealand. Each guide tells the story of an attraction along the way -- its people, its history, its cultural and natural significance. For more information about Roadside Stories visit

Map showing Paekākāriki - Roadside Stories