From Wainuiomata the road follows the river to the coast where the Remutaka Range abruptly meets the sea. Three prominent headlands – Pencarrow, Baring and Turakirae heads – dominate the exposed, rocky coastline.
At Turakirae a series of ancient beaches now form terraces well above the present sea level. They were raised from the sea by earthquakes, generated by movement of the West Wairarapa Fault over the past 6,500 years.
Close to Pencarrow Head, 10 kilometres west of Turakirae, two once-tidal inlets have been isolated from the sea by the rising land. They are now the freshwater lakes Kōhangapiripiri and Kōhangatera.