Image: Leon Berard | ©



Kapiti Island is a tranquil island bird sanctuary and one of New Zealand’s most accessible nature reserves. It's a unique visitor experience in a predator-free paradise. Access is by approved tour operators only.

Get up close and personal with rare birds such as kākā, kōkako, takahē and hihi. Wander tracks fringed with dense forest or climb the 521 m peak for panoramic views.

Find things to do and places to stay Kapiti Island Nature Reserve

For bird spotters and nature lovers, a visit to Kapiti Island offers a rewarding and memorable experience. Visitors can take themselves around the island or enjoy a guided tour with one of the commercial operators, who have an extensive knowledge of flora, fauna and history of the island.

In the forest and shrubland you’ll find tūī, bellbirds, weka, kākā, kererū and North Island robins. Saddlebacks, stitchbirds and takahē are also often seen.

Along the coast, you’ll spot shag and gull species, white-fronted terns, variable oystercatchers and reef herons. On the lagoon at the north end of the island, look out for scaups, grey teals and brown teals, black swans and royal spoonbills.

Home to over 1400 little spotted kiwi, a night visit to Kapiti Island offers visitors to chance to see the iconic New Zealand bird in their natural habitat.

Kaka at sunset on Kapiti Island.
Kākā at sunset on Kapiti Island.

Check you are pest-free

Check, clean, and seal your gear to ensure you don't bring pests, soil, and seeds.

See island biosecurity requirements.


Wellington/Kapiti information
Phone:   +64 3 546 9339
Email:   nelsonvc@doc.govt.nz
About:   Whakatū/Nelson Visitor Centre provides visitor information for this area
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