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Kapiti Island (reviews, reports)

Kapiti Island  (1st page) Directions/Transport Site map Birds found here Photos / Images Reviews/Trip reports

Reviews & trip reports

Looking across to Kapiti Island from the beach at Paraparaumu, it always looks so tantalisingly close but, for me anyway, so far away.

While living up in the eastern Bay of Plenty I tried a number of times to get on the Island but was foiled either by the weather or the mysteries of getting the permit. It seemed to me that one ought to be able to just turn up at Paraparaumu and get a permit from one of the boat operators but no, The Department of Conservation keeps a very tight hand on the Island and probably for very good reasons.

I found overseas visitors were very often equally frustrated for they usually allowed for a specific day in their schedules, only to find that the weather was against them on that day.

Coming to live in the southern part of the North Island, I almost immediately renewed my efforts to get to Kapiti Island again. The wait was worth the effort.

I opted for the overnight stay at the north of the Island with the Maori owners as it provided the opportunity of experiencing Kiwi, the Little Spotted. As luck would have it, this time the weather was fine, just gloriously fine, but then it was early March, after the kids had gone back to school and when the weather is generally more settled. Getting the permit proved easy enough, just a telephone credit card transaction.

An early morning phone call from the operator, indicated that the trip was on so I headed over the Riumutakas to Paraparumu Beach. There were the usual birds on the beach as I waited for the boat, oystercatchers and white fronted terns and gulls. The short trip over provided the opportunity of some sea birds, fluttering and Huttons shearwaters were among those I saw, I think. I spent the first day taking a walk around the northern part of the island, along the stoney beach and was rewarded with the large colony of spoonbill there. The evening meal with the hosts were attended by Kaka, such marvellous parrots. But the bird I remember most were the long-tailed cuckoos gathering for the long migration north to the tropics. I had seen such a gathering before in the northern Ureweras in the eastern Bay of Plenty but had not realised that the Island is another of their gathering places.

The Kiwi experience lived up to its promise and although I did not see one while out with our hosts spotlighting, there were a pair that made the cabins part of their territory so I heard them throughout the night and got up to sit on the porch for awhile and saw them in the moonlight.

The next day we were picked up and taken to the Department of Conservation Reserve itself. I didn't take the climb to the top of the Island but confined myself with the lower reaches and was well rewarded by the saddlebacks in particular.

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(page last updated  12 April 2007)