If you are tired of your normal routine and craving for a memorable time with your family away from the noisy world, Kapiti Island is one of the destinations worth visiting. Look at the beautiful sunset you can enjoy:
Kapiti is one of New Zealand's most valuable nature reserves, and it is the only large island sanctuary for birds between the Hauraki Gulf in the north and New Zealand's southern outlying islands.
Rectangular in shape, Kapiti Island is 10 km long and 2 km wide, stands only 5km off shore, and the island covers an area of 1965 hectares! For over a hundred years now Kapiti Island has been managed by the New Zealand Government in order to protect its flora and fauna.
Kapiti Island stands as 'the jewel in the crown of New Zealand's conservation estate' as it provides the necessary 'pest and predator' free environment for many of New Zealand's most endangered bird species. Many tribal groups have left their marks on Kapiti Island during a long and colorful history. For instance, from here the famous chief Te Rauparaha controlled his middle NZ Empire between 1830's - 60's.
Then came the foreign trading ships which effected the balance of power, they were encouraged to the Island by signal fires atop the hills! Soon after came commercial whalers, with some 2000 people living on Kapiti Island, including Australian and American whalers using their 'long boats' to chase the whales.
Watch this amazing video to get the feel of Kapiti Island.
Visitors to Kapiti Island have the choice of two locations: Rangatira located near the middle of the island?or the north end located at the top of the island. It is not possible to visit both locations in one day unless you are staying overnight at Kapiti Nature Lodge.
50 people may visit Rangatira, and 18 may visit the north end per day, they have chosen these low numbers so that the island is keep in its natural state, as much as possible. So, for both destinations you must obtain a visitor access permit from the Department of Conservation.
Rangatira: Visitors to Rangatira can follow easy, low-level tracks through the forest to view bird life and see the historic asset. It is a beautiful site and one that takes your breath away. From Rangatira, tracks climb through mature forest to the highest point of Kapiti Island, Tuteremoana (521 m).
Remember to have your camera handy so that you can take many memorable photos. Forest birds, such as Tui, Bellbird, Weka, Kaka, Kereru, and North Island Robins are common. Saddleback, Hihi and Takahe are often seen. Along the shoreline at Rangatira, various Shag and Gull species, White-fronted Terns, variable Oystercatchers and Reef Herons can be seen. A must for any bird lover as they are abundant and you are sure to not be disappointed!
North end: Tracks pass through grassland, shrubland, regenerating forest and coastline, and provide views of the freshwater Okupe Lagoon. A good variety of bird species may also be spotted similar to the ones seen in the Rangatira area.
While on Kapiti Island:
Upon landing, proceed to the public shelter to receive the introductory talk. All visitors must attend the introductory talk which will explain conditions of entry and safety on the island, as well as information about flora, fauna, and human history. Remember to keep to marked tracks. Kapiti Island is dissected by many water courses, and terrain is often steep and difficult to traverse.
You may leave your belongings at the shelter, but ensure that they are placed out of reach of weka and kaka, as they are very inquisitive and expert at getting into bags! Please be ready to leave the island at the departure time announced by your boat skipper. Sea conditions can change rapidly, and delays may make the return trip unnecessarily difficult.
Important safety measures:
Kapiti Marine Reserve: The underwater scenery, exceptionally clear waters,and rich animal and plant life attract many visitors to Kapiti Marine Reserve. Divers and snorkelers can explore natural features such as the Hole in the Wall and experience the rare combination of three different marine habitats in close proximity. There is also much to see in the reserve by boat, kayak or on foot. If you enjoy under water scene you will surely like to explore this spectacular reserve.
Kapiti Island Nature Reserve: Kapiti is one of New Zealand's most valuable nature reserves, and it is the only large island sanctuary for birds between the Hauraki Gulf in the north and New Zealand's southern outlying islands. It provides an opportunity for people to observe birds that are either very rare or absent from the mainland, and to see the recovery of vegetation after intensive modification during last century. A great diversity of birds is found on Kapiti Island.
It is home to the world's largest population of little spotted kiwi.
Places to stay:
Overnight stays are not permitted within the nature reserve or public land on the island. However,?some of the island is in private ownership and?not part of DOC's network of visitor facilities. On this land Kapiti Island Alive offers a home stay option for visitors. Contact Kapiti Island Alive or the Kapiti Coast Visitor Information Centre for more information.
So next time when you plan for a holiday check out Kapiti Island and enjoy the magic of nature and join with these famous people who has visited Kapiti Island:
For the booking and trip details you can visit http://www.kapititours.co.nz/ Don't forget to carry a map, here is it's location:
This island is an internationally renowned sanctuary for New Zealand native birds, native forest and New Zealand wildlife and marine reserve, so your kid is going to enjoy it at the most. Enjoy the beauty and breathe in the fresh and relaxing air along with your family.
(Sources:kapitimarinecharter.co.nz, kapitiislandalive.co.nz, kapiti.org.nz)