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To appreciate the beauty and history of Kapiti Island you need to overnight at Kapiti Island Nature Lodge. This is the only accommodation available on the island.
Visitor Access Permits are required to land on the island and these are available online through Department of Conservation.
The journey begins by sitting in a boat on the back of a tractor and being launched into the ocean. Kapiti Island is some 5 kms off the Kapiti Coast.
There is an opportunity to get off at Rangatira (at the southern end of the island) if you have pre-paid for an Access Permit. There is a choice of walks. The birdlife is amazing as the island is carefully managed. Any sign of rodents is taken very seriously. A takahae was the first bird I spotted. As I headed up to the summit I spotted tuis, bellbirds and robins darting amongst the trees.
Wood pigeons and kaka fluttered high in the branches of mature trees.
As I reached the top mist rolled up from the sea. After zigzagging down the track it was time to continue our boat ride to North End where Minnie, our host, met us on her tri-bike. With our luggage loaded she headed off to the Lodge.
A group of bird watchers were staying at the Lodge. They recounted all the birds they had seen on their morning walk.
Lindsay prepared a great evening meal. Around 9.30pm Minnie led a group of us into the bush to look for kiwis.
The first rustle in the bush was a false alarm – a weka. After an hour or so we spotted “Doris” – how lucky to see a kiwi in its natural habitat.
We finished the evening spotting a little blue penguin returning to its burrow.
Next morning I awoke to a chorus of birds. The group of birders were up early with their binoculars out adding to their tally of birds spotted on Kapiti Island.
All too soon it was time to board our boat and return to the mainland.
I am looking forward to returning to Kapiti Island in the not too distant future.
Tips: - To get to Kapiti Island – Air New Zealand now have direct flights Auckland to Kapiti or take the train from Wellington to Kapiti. Many of the accommodation providers on the Kapiti Coast include complimentary transfers from the rail station.