You are one click away from booking an Eco experience like no other - a day trip to the stunningly beautiful Kapiti Island. Walk the tracks, picnic on the beach, swim in the bay or just sit in solitude surrounded by rare and endangered birds, flora and fauna.
Remote yet accessible, soak up the beauty, hear the stories of the Ngati Toa Maori people from our world class guides, spot whales in season, watch sea birds and native birds in their natural environment.
What you get
Exciting 20-minute boat ride from Paraparaumu Beach through the Kapiti Marine Sanctuary to Kapiti Island – Launch off the beach in our purpose-built boat
Arrive on the isolated stunningly beautiful Rangatira point or north end
30-minute presentation at the Doc center where you learn about the natural history of Kapiti Island, ecology of the island stories of the Ngati Toa Rangitira and the story of sustainability
See rare and endangered birds in their natural environment, birds found nowhere else in the world, hear their bird song
Wander through the tracks up to the bird feeding station, carry on up and summit the trig to see a breath taking 360 Deg views of Kapiti and Tasman sea
Picnic on the beach swim in the Bay, Kapiti Marine Sanctuary
Each trip contributes to buying a predator trap to be donated to a predator eradication program to help save our native birds on the mainland
Guided walks are also available. Spend the first hour after the Introductory talk with a guide who will help you find and identify the birds and their
calls, point out and explain the special bush features on the island and
discuss more of the Islands history. Only $15 per person and limited to 10
people per guide.
|Child (5-17 years)||$40.00|
|Infant (under 5 years)||Free|
Contact us to discuss booking - limited walks due to Royal Spoonbill nesting
|Child (5 - 17 years)||$45.00|
|Infant (under 5 years)||$10.00|
Kapiti Island Eco Experience core values are that of a sustainable eco friendly business. We will promote sustainability, the environment and showcase the best that Kapiti Island and the Kapiti Island Marine Sanctuary has to offer.
Your trip will help fund predator eradication programs around the country, we will be involved with restoration planting of native bush on the mainland, beach clean up and education programs. Come and be part of the conservation story, travel with Kapiti Island Eco Experience and get the most out of this unique and beautiful Island.
"Take Only Memories, Leave Only Footprints" Chief Seattle, 1900
You are about to book a truly unique eco experience, Kapiti island is one of the jewels in the crown of not only the New Zealand conservation program but also on the world stage. From boom to bust in the space of a few short decades Kapiti island is the story of a slash and burn, deforestation and destruction of resources impacting greatly on the eco systems of the island, sea and people. From the clear felling of large parts of the Island's forest turning it into working cattle stations and introduction of devastating predators, to the exploitation of the Wright Whale hunted from Kapiti Island to near extinction in the 1800's.
It is also a story of foresight, sustainability, conservation and hope for the future of not only the Island and its Maori culture, but critically endangered native birds from all around New Zealand.
The conservation potential of the Island was seen as early as the 1870's being formally recognised as a bird sanctuary in 1897. The Department of Conservation took over management of the Island in 1987 and started the long journey to make the Island predator free and a haven for native birds from all around New Zealand. Today Kapiti Island is the santuary that our forefathers in the 1890's envisaged.
Kapiti island is home to some of our old favorites such as the cheeky weka - the rascal of the bush, look out they would love to steal your lunch that's if Mr Kaka our beautiful parrot has not already flogged it.
Hihi (stitch bird), Korimako (Bellbird), Kakariki, Kereru the fat pigeon, Piwakawaka ( Fantail), Kokako, Takahae Tieke (saddleback) plus many more.
Kapiti island also has a fascinating Maori history, the ancestral home of Ngati Toa Rangitira, settlement, conquest, occupation, resettlement and finally depopulation due to colonisation and lack of resources.
Ngati Toa Rangitira have recently been recognised by the crown as Tangata Whenua and Kiatiakitanga of Kapiti Island. For decades Ngati Toa had been on a journey to reconcile the breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi and injustices inflicted on them during the 1800 and 1900's They fought to protect their mana and articulate their claims so that the injustices and wrongs that were inflicted on their people could be brought out into the open and properly acknowledged. Rightfully so in 2009 Ngati Toa Rangitira counter signed a letter of agreement with the crown providing the basis for full and final settlement and a formal acknowledgement from the Crown of the impact on the Iwi of the breaches and injustices inflicted on their people. Part of this settlement was the return of Kapiti Island to Ngati Toa Rangitane.
Today Kapiti island is a beacon of hope for endangered and critical ecosystems that are suffering in New Zealand and globally with the will we can make a difference. Scientists, marine biologists, eco warriors and conservation specialists from all over the world come to Kapiti Island and take the lessons we have learnt over a 100 years of nature conservation trial and error, success and losses. They take our lessons back to their own projects and continue to fight for critical species.
Come on a journey see it for your self experience Kapiti Island an island like no other, Kapiti Eco Experience!
The waters between Kapiti Island and the mainland were once traveled by the waka of the Rangitane people, the Muaupoko and later those of Te Rauparaha of Ngati Toa who gained dominance over Kapiti by 1823.
This stretch of sea is called Rauoterangi Channel to commemorate the swimming feat of Kahe Te Rauoterangi, daughter of a Ngati Toa chief. Persuaded by a dream, she set out from Kapiti with her daughter strapped to her back, to warn allies on the mainland of a threatened attack. Te Rauoterangi was carried by the current to Te Uruhi, south of the Waikanae River and about 11 km from the starting point. The child survived the crossing but died not long afterwards.
Known as “motu rongonui” or “famous island” to pre-European Māori, a succession of tribes have used Kapiti. Settlements occurred on much of the eastern side, including Rangatira Point. Kapiti was the stronghold of the famous Te Rauparaha and a strategic location for Māori military activity as late as the 1830s. By this time, however, the island was shared with European whalers.
Vessels began calling in 1827 and, by the time the trade peaked in the mid-1830s, there were five whaling stations on the island: Waiorua, Rangatira, Taepiro, Wharekohu and Te Kahe Te Rau O Te Rangi.
Experience how New Zealand must have been over 100 years ago. En route to Kapiti Island, pass through the Kapiti Marine Reserve and watch for passing whales and dolphins. Lookout for the sea birds that frequent the coastal waters - gulls, gannets, penguins, terns, shags, shearwaters and albatross.
In the visitor shelter our guide will talk about the birds you are likely to see and share the status of the endangered species and new arrivals. Your guide will explain the walking options; whether you are walking to the summit (521 metres) or are meandering on the lowland tracks and what you will likely see.
Most birds and the impressive forest are to be found below the 250 metre level. You can walk Kapiti Island and watch the birds at your own pace or just relax for a wonderful day.