Kapiti Island

Kapiti Island

near Wellington

Kapiti Island is a bird and nature lovers paradise. And the people that live and breathe it, are the owners and operators of Kapiti Island Nature Tours, whanau (family), John and Susan Barrett, and John’s sister Amo Clark.

Kapiti Nature Lodge, run by John and Amo is the only accommodation on Kapiti Island. As well as the overnight accommodation at the lodge, their operation includes bird and history tours, and other activities like traditional harakeke-flax weaving weekends, seal watching, and seafood gathering.

The safari tent on Kapiti Island is located near the lodge in a peaceful spot, surrounded by nature. The tent shares bathroom facilities with the other lodge guests a short 40 metre walk from the tent, although each tent does have it's own toilet. Delicious meals prepared by the lodge's chef are included in the overall package for your stay, as well as all ferry trips, DOC permits, and a fantastic night kiwi-spotting walk with an experienced guide.

Whether you’re a local or visiting from overseas, seeing kiwi in their natural habitat is an experience not to be missed. Kapiti Island is home to around 1,400 little spotted kiwi, making it one of the densest population of kiwi to be found, and one of the easiest places to see them in the wild.

Imagine this... You're sitting on your tent verandah, cold drink in hand, watching weka wander through the grasses, cheeky kaka eyeing up your chips and dip, and wood pigeons perching in the manuka just metres from your tent. The air around you is filled with the bird-song of rare, native birds... and a delicious meal with great company is waiting for you in the warm and welcoming lodge. Bliss.

FROM $410 p/p

Incl. meals and transport

  • Sleeps 2

Kapiti Island is based off the Kapiti Coast, 45 minutes north of Wellington. The only way to get to Kapiti Island is by ferry. This cost is included in the cost of your overall package.

Kapiti Island Nature Tours will book and organise your ferry transport for you. They will also ask you to call on the morning of your departure to check that the ferry is operating. Moderate swells can prevent the ferry service from operating, in which case your stay may be delayed, postponed or refunded.

The ferry departs from the Kapiti Boating Club on the corner of Marine Parade and Kapiti Road, at Paraparaumu Beach, and returns to the same place. Paraparaumu Beach is one hour drive from New Zealand’s capital city, Wellington. To get to the Kapiti Boating Club, Turn-off State Highway One at Paraparaumu at the BP gas station. Follow Kapiti Road right to the end to the final traffic Island. There is a public car park available at the Kapiti Boating Club. This car park is directly in front of the boating clubrooms (not the public car park to the left of the Boating Club). Cars can be parked at the Kapiti Boating Club overnight.

The ferry trip takes just 15 minutes each way and leaves at 9am for your overnight stay (subject to numbers and good weather conditions), returning at 3pm on the day of your departure.

Because Kapiti Island is a precious nature reserve, and managed by the Department of Conservation, there are rules and regulations that must be followed in order to help protect the native birds on the Island. This includes having your bags checked for pests before you leave on the ferry.

Being on a bird sanctuary island also means that your visit may be weather dependant. Departure times may vary due to weather and sea conditions. Kapiti Island Nature Tours will contact you the night prior to your visit to advise you of any delays due to weather and sea conditions if known, as mentioned above they also ask that you call on the morning of the visit.

Kapiti Island

Kapiti Island Location


What is the Itinerary for my stay?

What do I need to bring?




1. Booking and payments

2. Cancellation and severe weather warnings

3. GST

4. Important rules and procedures for visiting Kapiti Island

            Eating and Drinking

    Eating and Drinking

    You'll need to bring a packed lunch for day one, all meals after that are cooked for you by the chef at the Kapiti Lodge and enjoyed in the lodge with the other guests and whanau.

    Kapiti Island Lodge is BYO for all alcoholic beverages, so if you enjoy a beer or wine with your meal, make sure you bring this. There are chiller facilities at the lodge for your use.

    Once you've booked, the team at Kapiti Island Nature Tours will be in touch prior to your arrival to check your dietary requirements.

            Things to do

    Things To Do

    Walking and bird-watching are the number one activites on Kapiti Island!

    There are three walking tracks on the Island, at two different locations. There is a flat easy walk (1.5 hours) at Waiorua Bay (north end) which includes circling the lovely Okue Lagoon (where you are likely to see Royal Spoonbills!).  There are also shorter flat walking options. You can also take the gentle climb to the western lookout (2.5 hours round trip).

    At Rangatira Point (central part of the island) you can climb to Tuteremoana Trig - the highest point on the Island. This is a three hour return walk (medium difficulty). Allow for time to have a picnic lunch at the top. 

    The views and birdlife from all these walks are spectacular and each has their own unique landscape.

    Once you've had your fill of walking and bird-watching - there are kayaks available for guests to use. You can also snorkel (bring your gear), swim, rent the hot tub for a relaxing soak, or just relax and laze around … Anything you want to do to unwind and get away from it all, you can do it here.

            Your Hosts

    Your Hosts

    The owners and operators of Kapiti Island Nature Tours are the whanau (family) – John and Susan Barrett, and John’s sister Amo Clark, who lives at Waiorua Bay at the north end of Kapiti Island.

    John and Amo’s iwi (tribe) and whanau have been living on Kapiti Island since the 1820s. They have gathered generations of knowledge and experience on the island, which over time, has grown to be recognised as a world renowned nature reserve.

    Kapiti Island Nature Tours run the only commercial operation at Waiorua Bay which includes; the overnight accommodation at Kapiti Nature Lodge, bird and history tours, and other activities like traditional harakeke-flax weaving weekends, seal watching, and seafood gathering. 

    The team work closely with the Department of Conservation to nurture and protect New Zealand’s most precious native birds, including Little Spotted Kiwi, Takahe, Kākā, Weka, Tīeke (Saddleback), Kereru, Kokako, Hihi, Toutouwai (Robin). 

    John and Amo’s iwi (tribe) and whanau (family) have been living on Kapiti Island since the 1820s. The family have gathered generations of knowledge and experiences on the island. Kapiti Nature Lodge, was inspired by the homestead of John and Amo’s grandmother who opened her farm homestead to visitors.

Browse the Collection

Beautiful tents surrounded by nature, quirky cabins with packets of personality and secret hideaways that offer something completely unique... Explore the other places in our collection.

Find your escape