Day trip

From Wellington: Kapiti Island Nature Reserve Day Trip

4.8 / 5

94 reviews

From Wellington: Kapiti Island Nature Reserve Day Trip

From US$ 54.54 per person

Enjoy a world-class day trip to Kapiti Island to see New Zealand nature at it’s best. Discover rare and endangered native birds, swim in the bay, wander along tracks, and hear stories from your experienced guides.

About this activity

Free cancellation
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Mobile ticketing
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Duration 5 hours
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Live tour guide


  • Discover the stunningly beautiful and peaceful Kapiti Island, a predator-free nature reserve
  • Feel a million miles from civilizations while only being a 20-minute boat ride from the mainland
  • Explore the island on your own - sit in solitude, take a walk, trek to the summit and see nature at its best
  • Swim in the bay within the famed Kapiti Marine Reserve
  • Walk to the island summit at 542-meters tall for 360 degrees views
  • Listen to incredible birds and hear the stories of early Maori, whalers and bird sanctuary pioneers
Full description
Meet your host at the Kapiti Boat Club Paraparaumu and board a purpose-built jet boat for the short 20-minute trip to Ko te Waewae Kapiti o tara Rua ko Rangitani, also known as Kapiti Island. Prior to departure, your guide will take you through a short biosecurity check to ensure Kapiti Island is kept predator free. One of the reasons Kapiti Island is so special is that it does not have any mammalian predators. This means the bird life is not like on the mainland. On Kapiti, you will see and hear rare and endangered species that thrive on the island. On arrival at Kapiti Island, head up to the information center and gain a 20-minute overview of the ecology, natural history and birds you are likely to see on the island. Learn about the best tracks, how to best spot the bird, and where to swim. Then, set off on your own to soak up the beauty of the island. For an additional fee, you can enjoy a 1-hour guided walk with a world-class guide, prior to being let loose on the island. Whilst this is not a fully guided experience, your guide will be on the island for the day, available to answer any questions and help ensure you have the best day possible. After your self-guided experience, climb back onboard the boat to head back to the mainland, arriving around 2:45 PM.
  • Return cruise to the island
  • Local guide who will stay on the island to look after you
  • All permits to the island
  • 1-hour guided walk (additional cost on the day)
  • Snorkel gear hire

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Prepare for the activity

Meeting point

Meet at the boat at the Kapiti Boat Club car park, Parapapraumu Beach. Google Maps shows this location.

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Important information

Know before you go

  • The tracks are really good but the island is steep so good walking shoes are recommended
  • Bring your lunch, a water bottle, and your camera. Wear good shoes such as trainers or walking shoes
  • Include a 1-hour guided walk for NZD $20.00 per person on the day. This is awesome for the bird spotters or anyone wanting that little extra. The guides are world-class in their knowledge of the flora, fauna and natural history of the island
  • You can also hire snorkel gear to swim in the Marine Sanctuary on the day and the guides will show you the best spots to swim
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.8 /5

based on 94 reviews

Review summary

  • Value for money
  • Safety
  • Service
  • Organization

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My wife and I so greatly enjoyed out day trip to Kapiti Island. The staff were great, competent, knowledgeable, engaging and fun. The length of the trip was ideal, enabling us to walk up to highest point while having time to enjoy the abundant native birds. Hearing the magical call of Kokako was a highlight for me. I'm certain that my attitude to the day trip was shared by all people who were on today's Kapiti Island outing. I totally recommend this visit that provides an understanding of what this South Pacific group of islands was like before the arrival of four-legged and two-legged invaders.

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April 15, 2021

Enough time to comfortably walk to the top of the island. A bit of a struggle for the properly unfit, but otherwise nothing too difficult. Lots of native birds wandering out on the paths. Generally a forest walk as there is only one single place with a view on the entire island: the very top.

February 23, 2021

What a great experience. The guides were great - loved their history lesson before we embarked, the safety briefing was on point and not over the top or a token effort and the on-island wildlife chat was enlightening and really enhanced our day. Great crew, great service and I predict we will be back. The island itself is great and we loved our walk to the summit. the track (we went via the Wilkinson track) was well maintained and the timings (2 hrs up, 1.5 hrs back) were generous without being inaccurate.

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January 29, 2021

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Product ID: 163062