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.
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