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Have you ever had a kaka steal a biscuit, or a weka scurrying for crumbs at your feet, all while listening to the call of the kakariki, bellbird, robin and saddleback?
On Kapiti Island, one of New Zealand's most important sites for bird recovery, this is an everyday experience.
A haven for native birdlife, the stitchbird, kokako, takahe, brown teal, saddleback, brown kiwi and weka all make their home here. The little spotted kiwi also thrives on Kapiti Island, but is now extinct on the mainland.
Only 50 people per day may visit the reserve, and this number is strictly monitored. The island is reached via a 15-minute boat trip from Paraparaumu Beach, less than an hour’s drive from Wellington, making Kapiti the most accessible predator-free island in New Zealand.
Adjacent to the island is the Waikanae Estuary Scientific Reserve, and with the Kapiti Marine Reserve providing a link, the region is a haven for all types of flora and fauna. The marine reserve is a nationally significant recreational, educational, ecological and scientific resource containing some of the finest underwater scenery in the greater Wellington region.
Kapiti Island is a place of beauty, legends, and wildlife. Take your time to savour this, but be sure to hide your biscuits from the greedy kaka!