Tanya Cumberland & Charmaine Pountney write about their visit to Kapiti Island
Are you drawn to watching quirky native birds at close quarters?
And are you going to be anywhere near Wellington in the near future?
If so, a visit to Kapiti Island Nature Reserve is a must.
You can take a day trip, or stay overnight with a mana whenua family, the Barretts, at their lodge.
In April, from our rustic cabin on the island, we watched the antics of takahe, kereru, kaka and weka; and along the walking tracks we also saw tui, saddlebacks, stitchbirds, robins and bellbirds, plus of course the wetland and coastal birds. And at night, a guided walk by torchlight revealed the little silky-grey spotted kiwi scuttling along in the undergrowth.
This strategically placed reserve – only 5km off the Kapiti Coast – has been regerating for 110 years in the south and 40 years in north. It’s had no possums, and has been rat-free for around 20 years now, so the bush is lush and the bird-life prolific.
It’s accessible by boat from Paraparaumu www.kapitimarinecharter.co.nz , and any visit requires a DOC permit. Enjoy! And think what our bush could be like in twenty years if we keep up the good pest control and restoration work!
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