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“Great day out”

Kapiti Island Nature Tours
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Overnight Kiwi Spotting Tour on Kapiti Island
Ranked #2 of 20 things to do in Paraparaumu
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Kapiti Island is one of New Zealand's most visited places for bird watchers. It is an internationally renowned sanctuary and is blessed with an abundance of native and endangered species like Little Spotted Kiwi, Takahe, and the cheeky Kaka who have not survived so well on the mainland. This nature-inspired setting is the perfect place to experience New Zealand's native birds in their natural environment.Kapiti Island is just 40 minutes north of Wellington, New Zealand's capital city. Activities include half and full day nature tours, overnight Kiwi spotting and rare bird tours. The Maori hospitality you will experience on Kapiti Island - one of New Zealand's most precious nature reserves - is unsurpassed.
Level Contributor
123 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Great day out”
Reviewed April 11, 2013

Our first booking was cancelled due to weather but Minnie happily re-booked us. There was no charge for the person in our party who couldn't make it on the re-scheduled day. When we reported at the water taxi at 8.30am, there was a fairly steep access to the boat, but people to help you board (and subsequently debark on the island).
We had our own guide (Deborah) who was very knowledgeable about the history, Maori mythology, flora and fauna of the island. There was a talk for about an hour, morning tea in the lodge, a guided walk for about an hour, lunch After the home-cooked buffet style lunch with the other group who had overnighted in the lodge, we were free to do whatever we wanted - go for a walk by ourselves, climb up to a viewing point, relax in the lodge and watch the birds around there - until the boat returned to pick us up at about 2.45pm.
We saw takahe, pukeko, kaka, weka, fan tails, bellbirds, tui, kakariki, kereru, NZ robin and heard more. Disappointing not to see kiwi, but the people who had overnighted on the island had seen them.
There were some pebble paths that some people would find difficult and no wheelchair/stroller access that I saw. It would pay to discuss access with them before booking if it is an issue for anyone in your party. Bring walking shoes, sunscreen, hat, camera, water bottle - there is nothing to buy on the island.
It would be possible to get to the departure point (Coastguard Station at Paraparaumu Beach) by public transport on the day from Wellington - train then bus - but would mean a very early start. There is a Hostelling International hostel and a couple of motels less than 5 minutes' walk away.
All in all, it was a great experience and highly recommended.

Visited April 2013
1 Thank Fiona B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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247 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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  • English first
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English first
Winchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
136 reviews
53 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 159 helpful votes
“Top marks for caring”
Reviewed February 13, 2013

I am a keen birdwatcher and had booked a trip to Kapiti long before we left the UK for New Zealand. The day before our trip was very windy and they warned that the trip might not go ahead. On the day, disaster, the trip was cancelled. So why five stars? Because of the way that Kapiti handled things. They were there on the phone to update you. At 7am they were very clear that the trip would not depart. And they didn't charge me a penny. I said " hey look, it's not your fault that the weather is bad, surely you want to take something for your administration?" No. Just lots of "sorry your trip has been messed up". Because of our travel schedule (we were on the ferry to South Island next day) it wan't possible to take the rescheduling that was offered. Whilst very disappointed I didn't get to Kapiti, I really give top marks to the staff for the way they handled things.

Visited February 2013
1 Thank archaeologyman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wellington, New Zealand
Level Contributor
66 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“A truly great place to visit as mentioned elsewhere - a taonga.”
Reviewed February 8, 2013

A really great place to visit. Amazing bird life, cheeky Kaka, lots of Kakariki, Tui, Bellbird, a family of Takahe and seeing a small spotted kiwi so close to the Lodge was a bonus. Food was excellent particularly the mussel fritters and the paua. While the accommodation is batch style it is very comfortable and clean and a very short walk to showers and toilet. Very knowledgeable guide on the visit and walk at Rangatira. Great walks at North End as well.

John, Amo, and family looked after us exceptionally well. Minnie was also very helpful in making our bookings and ensuring we had our DoC permits etc sorted. We will be heading back in the future and would highly recommend a visit to the Island - best to do the overnighter.

Visited February 2013
2 Thank KiwiWanderers02
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rockford, IL
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“A true taonga (priceless gift)”
Reviewed January 27, 2013

We spent a night on Kapiti... There is just not enough room here to express how precious this corner of the world is.... The bird song and bird life unforgettable. To see the Takahe family - a bird I grew up being told I would probably never get to see. The night adventure to find a Kiwi. Both events took my breath away. Good old fashion Kiwi hospitality by wonderful folks. Once you realize that your not on the NZ mainland anymore and that life out here on the island is unexpected, issues like the limited electricity, water, resources that you would normally take for granted... along with a comfy low key common area / room and rather small bach like bunk bed accommodations, and little walk to the bathrooms, is not an issue unless your focus is in the wrong place! Next time I will stay two nights... Thank you Kapiti - now I don't have to wonder anymore....

Visited January 2013
1 Thank Nicky084
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tauranga, New Zealand
2 reviews
“Our family trip to celebrate my 70th birthday”
Reviewed January 23, 2013

I thought it was an excellent day trip from Paraparaumu Beach to Kapiti Island bird sanctuary. My wife and I, with two grandsons (10 and 8) and son-in-law climbed to the top of the northern high point of the island. , above the cloud-line as it happened, so we viewed the mist and missed the view, however on the way we saw lots of native birds: parakeets, Weka, Wood pigeon, Kaka, Robins, Fantails, Takahe, Pippets and so on.

Yo have to look carefully into the bush along the tracks sometimes, as the birds may just sit quietly and watch you pass., especially Kereru (Wood pigeons).

Especially appreciated was the lovely lunch prepared by Vicky the first class chef. She gave me her reciope for the chicken nibbles!

Enjoyed meeting Manaaki and his parents and telling him about the 60 foot (18 m) long whale skeleton dating for the 1450s, found washed inland 800 metres and another whale skeleton which has been found 44 m above sea level on this coast: tsunamis always a threat but at least you can run for the hills on Kapiti.

Logan and I each entered a competition to name the new Takahe chick. He suggested "Tamati" as the place reminded him of Tamatai the TV 1 weatherman, and I offer the name "Takahou" which means "making new friends" or "New friend" in Te Reo.

Visited January 2013
Thank Adrian1943
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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