Belinda recently enjoyed a day trip to Kapiti Island, north of Wellington.
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What is your favourite ‘undiscovered location’ in New Zealand?
Why is it special to you?
The reason I love Kapiti Island is because it’s so peaceful and is a nature reserve that is only a short distance from Wellington.
The stories around the history of the island and the way that conservation efforts have brought back the flora and fauna is a great story too and when you go on the island it’s clear to see the abundance of native trees and birdlife.
Walking around the island is a great way of exploring and there are a number of tracks and trails to access, with different levels of ability for those who are mildly fit to those who are super fit. Since there are no roads on the island, it’s very quiet and you can walk around listening to the birdsong and appreciate the view.
Visitors can spend a day there or even enjoy an overnight stay.
Who did you travel with?
With some colleagues from Tourism New Zealand.
What is your best piece of advice for people visiting Kapiti Island?
Take good walking shoes, water, a bite to eat for a picnic (remember to take your rubbish off the island with you) and some warm clothing.
Most important of all take your camera, with lots of additional space on your memory card!
Also, you’ll need to make sure you apply for your permit well in advance of your trip to gain access to the island.
How do you get to Kapiti Island?
Wellington Airport services regular international and domestic flights. From Wellington city visitors can take regular coach and train services to the Kapiti Coast, or hire a rental vehicle and self-drive to Paraparaumu, approximately one hour. Alternatively, visitors can fly into the Kapiti Coast domestic airport in Paraparaumu. Regular passenger ferries depart from the Kapiti Boating Club to Kapiti Island, sailings are weather dependent and take 15 minutes each way.
About Kapiti Island
Kapiti Island lies about 5km off the west coast of the southern North Island and is one of New Zealand’s most important sites for bird recovery. With over 1,200 Little Spotted Kiwi living on Kapiti Island, it is a great place to see a kiwi in its natural environment.
The island is 10km long and about 2km wide, covering an area of 1,965 hectares. The highest point, Tuteremoana, is 521m above sea-level. There are a number of short walks available on Kapiti Island, allowing visitors to spot birds and appreciate the stunning flora and fauna of the island.
Kapiti Island Nature Tours
offers transport, guided tours and overnight stays on Kapiti Island, they also organise the relevant permits required to visit the island.
Pre-booking during New Zealand’s peak summer season (December to February) is recommended.
Find out more about Kapiti Island here