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“A day to remember”
Review of Kapiti Island

Kapiti Island
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Kapiti Island Tour Including Car Museum by Helicopter and Train from Wellington
Ranked #659 of 1,771 things to do in North Island
Attraction details
Hamilton, New Zealand
Level Contributor
95 reviews
57 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
“A day to remember”
Reviewed January 15, 2013

A visit to this important island reserve requires pre-booking for a permit. This will provide information about ferry sailings.

We turned up at the designated time at the Kapiti Boating Club on Paraparaumu Beach to find the boat (on a trailer and attached to a tractor) that would take us to the island sitting in the middle of the carpark. After our day packs were checked for stowaway mice we boarded the boat which was then towed down to the beach and backed into the sea.

The boat had powerful motors and it was just a 10 minute trip to Kapiti Island.

After a briefing from a DOC ranger we set off along a well-formed trail to the top ridge of the island. The path zigzagged up the island and was relatively easy (although the ‘Trig Track’ was apparently more challenging).

Kapiti Island is a bird sanctuary, so there was an expectation that we would see lots of native birds. We certainly heard plenty, but sightings were more elusive. Weka were relatively common and we also sighted a kaka, and a fat wood pigeon. We heard the calls of bellbirds, tui and many other unidentified birds.

The rangers who manage Kapiti Island do not provide food for the native birds as they are aiming to establish a natural ecosystem. I was therefore heartened by the fact that native birds did not flock to us in search of expected food but challenged visitors to locate them in their natural environment.

Visited January 2013
Thank Al_paca10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
John B, Owner at Kapiti Island, responded to this review, February 8, 2013
Hello- referring to your point about birds and difficulty in seeing them in the forest- It's important to understand there are two landing options on Kapiti Island. 1/ Rangatira landing-where you visited. The forest here is older and more mature, thicker and taller, hence the dark and difficult bird spotting conditions..a slightly wider range of birds possible to see here, but more difficult..the other landing - Northend/ Waiorua landing- the forest is newer and more open, providing a much more open context for bird spotting-same range of species, but less density. The other point to note is that available walks & hikes at the "Northend" are less demanding.
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47 reviews from our community

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English first
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Depends on the weather”
Reviewed December 16, 2012

Best to check the temperature before heading to Kapiti Island as it can be a pretty miserable day in the cold for some. I went with my parents (in their 60s) and siblings (in their 20s/30s) and some enjoyed it much less than others. Especially since the climb up to the summit, although fairly easy for most, is not recommended for creaky knees. Without the summit climb, one's left with a very windy rock beach for several hours and nothing much else. Too cold to swim in early December. Birds are a hit and miss, too, as they do go around wild, so you can't expect to see every bird.

Perhaps older visitors who are still keen can try the overnight tour and stay at the island. At least that way there's a place to retire when it gets too windy.

Also, I shouldn't worry too much about booking permits. Best to keep this to the last minute, depending on weather, as it's not worth heading out there 'since we already bought the permit' if it's windy and cold.

Visited December 2012
Thank tripped451
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
John B, General Manager at Kapiti Island, responded to this review, December 19, 2012
Kia ora
Sorry to hear your day visit to Kapiti wasn't all you expected. I'm happy to advise that effective from 6th December, it is possible to travel with Kapiti Island Nature Tours to the Northern End of the Island -Northend Corwn Land- where the walks are much more relaxed and easier for those visitors not so inclined to very steep and demanding walks..the flora and fauna is still very exciting and natural-and there is the added advantage of sheltering at Kapiti Nature Lodge if the weather conditions are not comfortable..lunch/snacks and tea-coffee also available at the Lodge. Half day tours also now available-and overnight Kiwi spotting tours also.
Thanks for your comments.
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Level Contributor
34 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Great place, Great food, Great scenery!”
Reviewed May 24, 2012

We went to Kapiti Island because it is somewhere I've always wanted to visit. I'd seen it from the road and the beaches along the Kapiti Coast many times so on one of those 'visit the rellies' trips the actual holiday part was to be Kapiti. It didn't disappoint. We went on the day and overnight trip and did the steep walk up to the Trig station first. Fantastic view at the top and lots of birds to see on the way up. We came back the less steep way which was fine. The boat picked us up at about 3 and took us to the Lodge. The accommodation is very basic but comfortable. Everything is provided. Our hosts were fantastic - welcoming and friendly and very informative. The meals - dinner, breakfast and lunch - were all delicious and even included paua and crayfish!
In the evening we were taken on a 'kiwi-spotting' walk - and we saw 2 kiwis. One was very close until it realised there were people on the track and it did a little jump then ran off into the undergrowth. Quite funny!
All over the island there are heaps of birds - we got some beaut photos.
I'd highly recommend the stay at the Lodge. It may seem expensive but its a case of you get what you pay for. The wealth of knowledge from the owners about the history of the island, the birds and walks is invaluable. It is a one-off experience - although I wouldn't mind heading back for a day trip some time.

Visited January 2012
2 Thank TerrificTraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wellington, New Zealand
Level Contributor
15 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Kapiti Island Nature Tour”
Reviewed May 10, 2012

We recently did a day trip and overnight stay at Kapiti Lodge. Such warm, friendly and welcoming people and SUCH amazing food. If you have the time it's must see but do remember to book early.

Visited April 2012
2 Thank Sue27_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
47 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“The really lovely NZ experience”
Reviewed May 5, 2012

We have been to the Island 4 times now, you have to buy permits and choose between the north end or middle section. The north end is for people who want to wonder with easier walking tracks , the middle section you can climb to the summit on a bush track - what ever end you choose the bird life is amazing and you will get incredible experiences especially with Kaka and Weka birds. The native Wood Pigeon act like domestic type - if you have the weather right when in this area go it's a must

Visited May 2012
1 Thank DCWCAD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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