Saddlebacks on Kapiti Island.
Kapiti Island is host to one of the largest accessible island bird sanctuaries in New Zealand, set in one of the nation’s most valuable nature reserves.
Only one hour from Wellington, the Kapiti Island Nature Reserve boasts a unique environment populated with birds and wildlife rarely seen on the mainland. Here you can observe an abundance of native birds including Little Spotted Kiwi, Takahe, Kereru and Kaka.
Book your trip with a transport or tour operator
View the Kapiti Island Nature Reserve brochure (PDF, 1,910K).
Explore the history of Kapiti Island and learn about the ground-breaking conservation work that has produced this pest-free sanctuary.
After an introductory talk on the flora, fauna, and human history of the island, visitors can explore the island's tracks, studying the many rare birds and the historic artefacts.
Overnight stays are not permitted within the nature reserve on the island. Some of the island is in private ownership where a homestay is available.
Find out how to arrange a visit to the island. Read about the conditions of entry to the Nature Reserve.
Kapiti Marine Reserve links the world-renowned bird sanctuary on the island with the protected Waikanae estuary on the mainland, creating a rare continuum of protected land and sea.
Find businesses that are DOC-approved to provide activities and services in Kapiti Island Nature Reserve.
Students can learn all about Kapiti Island and the Kapiti Marine Reserve.
DOC maps: Discover the outdoors - DOC's key places, campsites, tracks and huts, and visitor centres on a map
Check, Clean, Dry between waterways and stop the spread of didymo.
Walking track categories
Follow the Outdoor Safety Code:1. Plan your trip2. Tell someone3. Be aware of the weather4. Know your limits5. Take sufficient supplies
Alerts for Wellington/Kapiti places
Kapiti Coast Visitor Information Centre