Kapiti Island

Image: Sarah Wilcox | Creative Commons


Kapiti Marine Reserve is popular for its abundant sea life including blue moki, kingfish, seals and dolphins. It's also home for some top dive spots include the Hole-in-the-Wall underwater archway.

Place overview


  • Boating
  • Diving and snorkelling
  • Kayaking and canoeing
  • Swimming
  • Protect our marine reserves
    • No fishing of any kind.
    • Don't take or kill marine life.
    • Don't remove or disturb any marine life or materials.
    • Don't feed fish - it disturbs their natural behaviour.
    • Take care when anchoring to avoid damaging the sea floor.

Find things to do and places to stay Kapiti Marine Reserve

About this place

History and culture

Find out about the Māori history of the waters between Kapiti Island and the mainland

Getting there

Kapiti Marine Reserve is 30 km from Wellington city and is located between Paraparaumu and Waikanae beaches and Kapiti Island.

The marine reserve touches the mainland at the Waikanae River mouth. Foot access to the reserve is from Waikanae Beach or Paraparaumu Beach on either side of the Waikanae Estuary and river mouth. There are walking tracks through Waikanae Estuary.

Know before you go

If you would like to visit Kapiti Island or wish to snorkel from its shores, you need to travel to the island with one of the authorised boat services and ensure you have a valid day visit permit. See Kapiti Island Nature Reserve for more information about visiting the island. 


Kapiti Wellington Visitor Centre
Phone:   +64 4 384 7770
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Email:   wellingtonvc@doc.govt.nz
Address:   18 - 32 Manners Street
Postal Address:   PO Box 10420
The Terrace
Wellington 6143
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