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Kapiti is one of the few accessible island nature reserves. You can observe birds that are either very rare or absent from the mainland. Access is by approved tourism operators only.

Place overview


  • Bird and wildlife watching
  • Walking and tramping


  • Toilets
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      About this place

      Getting there

      Approved commercial operators (from the button above) provide transport and tours of Kapiti Island. The island is a popular destination all year round so bookings for the popular summer season need to be made well in advance.

      Access by permit only

      Private boats, kayaks, jet-skis, paddleboards, swimmers and any other form of private vessel must not land at Kāpiti Island Nature Reserve. No one can land on the island without a permit.

      Boat departure and parking

      Boats depart from the Kapiti Boating Club at 1 Manly Road, Paraparaumu Beach. This is about a one hour drive north of Wellington.

      To get there from the Paraparaumu traffic lights, turn into Kapiti Road and continue to the beach. The Boating Club is at the end of Kapiti Road.

      Visitors to Kapiti Island can park at the Kapiti Boating Club or in the carpark across the stream from the club.

      Trips to the island are weather dependent. Contact the tourism provider on the morning of your trip for a weather check and to confirm the departure time.

      Know before you go

      What to bring

      • Your own lunch and drinking water.
      • Sturdy footwear.
      • Warm clothing and a waterproof jacket as weather can change quickly.

      On the island

      • A shelter and toilets are available on the Island.
      • After landing, go to the public shelter to listen to the introductory talk. This will explain conditions of entry and safety on the island, as well as information about flora, fauna, and human history.
      • Keep to marked tracks.
      • Ensure that your belongings are placed out of reach of weka and kaka. They are very inquisitive and expert at getting into bags.
      • Be ready to leave the island at the departure time announced by your boat skipper.
      • Overnight stays are not permitted within the nature reserve on the island. Some of the island is in private ownership. On this land Kapiti Island Nature Tours offers a homestay option for visitors.
      • All fires, including barbecues and cooking stoves, are not allowed.
      • Smoking is strictly prohibited at all times.
      • Everything on the island is protected, and nothing may be removed - including plant material, insects, lizards, birds, feathers and shells.
      • Do not feed birds and other wildlife.
      • Remove all your rubbish from the island. Carry out what you carry in.

      School groups

      School groups on educational visits are eligible for discounts. Ask your tourism provider for more information.

      Unwanted pests and weeds

      Check your gear before you set out, every time. Ensure that your clothing, footwear and luggage is free of plant material including seeds and foliage.

      Pest animals and plants can invade the island by stowing away on or in your footwear or gear. Rats can squeeze through a 12 mm gap and mice can squeeze through a 7 mm gap. Insects could hide in your bag, and weeds, seeds and soil could cling to your clothing and shoes.

      Bags will be inspected and unpacked before boarding the boat. You can help speed up this process by checking and cleaning your gear before you arrive. Once checked, keep your bags tightly closed and keep food supplies in sealed containers.

      You cannot take pets to Kapiti Island.

      What to do if you find a pest

      • On the mainland: get rid of the pest and clean your gear again.
      • On a commercial boat: tell the crew what you have found and where it is.


      Pōneke / Wellington Visitor Centre
      Phone:      +64 4 384 7770
      Address:   18 Manners Street
      Full office details
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