Kapiti Island is a popular destination all year round, so during the peak summer season transport bookings need to be made well in advance.
Two areas on the island open to the public are Rangatira, halfway along the eastern shore, and the northern end.
Walk through forest to view birds and the historic whare, the oldest building associated with nature conservation in New Zealand. Or climb the track toTuteremoana, the highest point on Kapiti Island at 521 m above sea level.
Time: 1 hr 30 min loop
Distance: 1.8 km loop
Start at the Rangatira shelter and enjoy an easy walk through regenerating forestand coastal shrubland. See whaling trypots (artefacts from the island’s whalinghistory) and the historic whare. Explore the Rangatira wetland via a boardwalk, then walk around the coastal section back to the shelter.
Time: 2 hr one way
Distance: 3.8 km one way
Walk to Tuteremoana along a well-formed track with a steady uphill climb. Pass a picnic area and hihi feeding station a third of the way up. There is a toilet 10 minutes from the summit. This is an ideal track for all ages and fitness levels.
Time: 2 hr one way
Distance: 2 km one way
This is a more challenging walk to Tuteremoana with narrow, uneven sections. It is considerably steeper than the Wilkinson Track and should only be attempted by confident trampers with good, sturdy footwear. This is an uphill track only.
Walking tracks at the northern end of the island pass through grassland, shrubland, regenerating forest and coastline, and provide fantastic views of freshwater Okupe Lagoon.
There is a shelter and toilet at the north end.
Time: 1 hr 30 min return
Distance: 4.8 km return
This walk follows a gentle gradient to a lookout above the western cliffs (198 m). The lookout is unfenced so supervise children carefully around the cliff edge.
Time: 45 min loop
Distance: 2 km loop
This walk follows the coastline around the boulder bank. This track is closed from October to March to avoid disturbing nesting seabirds.
Time: 5 min one way
Distance: 185 m one way
Start at beach edge and finish at the junction before north end visitor shelter.
Kapiti Island is 5 km off the west coast of the lower North Island,
Authorised operators 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. Private boats may not land at Kapiti Island Nature Reserve.
Boats depart from Kapiti Boating Club at Paraparaumu Beach, about an hour’s drive north of Wellington. To get to the Boating Club from the Paraparaumu traffic lights, turn into Kapiti Road and continue to the end. Visitors to Kapiti Island can park at Kapiti Boating Club or in the car park across the stream.