Kapiti Island Nature Tours

Kapiti Island Nature Tours


170 Rankers Reviews

9 Face-to-Face

11 Bird Watching

1 Kapiti Island

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Visitor relaxing with kaakaa.
View from north end hill.
Takahee family.
Little spotted kiwi


Kapiti Island is one of New Zealand's oldest and most important nature reserves, and a place rich in human history. Our family first arrived on Kapiti in 1820, and have been welcoming visitors to the island for generations

OPENING HOURS: Operational for the duration of the Lions Tour
Overnight Kiwi Spotting Tour – $355.00
Kapiti Day Tour – $173.00
Return Ferry Transport – $78.00

Kapiti Island is an internationally renowned sanctuary for New Zealand native flora and fauna- a forest reserve  for  New Zealand wildlife.  Kapiti Island is also the home of a well established Marine Reserve. And if you love taking photos, you couldn’t find a more incredible environment to do so. 

Maximise your Kapiti Island visit with us. Within one booking request we can confirm and book your tour and accommodation if you stay the night, book your return ferry, obtain the relevant permits, and give you all the information you need to have a fantastic stay.

We cater for all fitness levels. The walk from Rangatira to the highest point requires the highest level of fitness, with steep and demanding tracks and truly rewarding birdlife and nature experiences.

Alternatively, the North End (Waiorua) landing offers a much less strenuous walking option, still with wonderful flora and fauna experiences, and an opportunity to view the Royal Spoonbill nesting colony with one of our guided walks. 

Waiorua Bay (North end) offers a more relaxed range of options. Sea Kayaking and snorkelling is also available at Waiorua Bay (from the Kapiti Nature Lodge) You might choose to  just enjoy Kapiti Nature Lodge for true rest and relaxation.

Wherever you go on the Island, there is absolutely no chance that there’ll be too many people – just 100 permits are issued to Rangatira per day, and only 60 per day to Waiorua Bay, the home of local whanau and Kapiti Island Nature Tours.


Feature Value Info


Kapiti Island Nature Tours

Commercial organisation


North IslandWellington RegionKapiti Island


  • Bird Watching


Showing 8 reviews of 167.

Richard Hamilton's avatar

Richard Hamilton

New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

Fantastic day trip in an area of such natural beauty! All of the staff were most welcoming and helpful! Would recommend to anyone who enjoys nature, walks and especially birdwatching!

Reviewed about 6 years ago

DJ's avatar


New Zealand

Ranking: 9/10

Fascinating "close to nature" experience; privileged access to uniquely NZ environment; well organised, well balanced combination of professionalism combined with warm and friendly family welcome and hospitality, generous caterings and comfortable and appropriate accommodation. Flora and fauna easily accessible for both the energetic and the more ponderous with comfortable and flexible balance between guided and free exploration according to preference. Overnight stay definitely worthwhile. Photography paradise for all levels. Magnificent views by day and night. Somewhat weather dependent.

Reviewed over 6 years ago

Kapiti Island Nature Tours responds:

Thanks for your kind comments- yes , we are somewhat weather dependent, hopefully our recent transition to a larger and more robust water taxi option will allow more operational days.
kind regards.

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John's avatar


United States

Ranking: 10/10

This was possibly the number 1 experience of our two week trip to New Zealand from the US. And for me the best aspect was that on the north end during the overnight stay, it felt like I was being welcomed warmly into the home of a real family. Stepping off the ferry on to the stones of the beach, we were met by Manaaki, who explained that his family had owned this land for generations. He showed us their cemetery on the way to the family home, now the main lodge building. Amo, the grandmother or aunt, made a point of talking to me, and I so enjoyed hearing her stories about some of the ancestors pictured on the wall, and her kind attention. Vikki, Matthew, and Minnie in the reservations office could not have been kinder or more attentive. The meals were tasty, with many options and generous quantities. Having meals three times with the other guests that night and morning, most of whom were from NZ, allowed some of us to get acquainted and even form new friendships across the miles. It was inspiring to see the extraordinary efforts being made to conserve the remaining species, by the DOC as well as the family. We had some luck finding those endemics, including one little spotted kiwi and a little blue penguin. I heard more birds than I could spot; many seemed elusive. Other reviewers have detailed what is there. I also enjoyed the north end loop hike and views from the peak to the west and back to the North Island (not as steep a hike as the one in the middle of the island) and learning about the trees and other vegetation. I was sorry when our 30 hours were over and would love to return. Thank you!

Reviewed over 6 years ago

Kapiti Island Nature Tours responds:

Hi John
We appreciate your comments & review.

Rob Pinney's avatar

Rob Pinney

New Zealand

Ranking: 9/10

All the staff were helpful, courteous, and good natured but the young man (Manacki ??) who reviewed history and ecology of the island and presented large photos of the birds was exceptional. He has a charismatic manner that makes him very effective as a presenter. The fact that he is in the lineage of the Maori whanu makes it all the more interesting. The food at the lodge for lunch was very good. Our only point of confusion had to do with finding the coastal trail which we had been warned was not marked as such. A great day!!

Reviewed about 7 years ago

Catherine Grace's avatar

Catherine Grace


Ranking: 10/10

Our first booking had to be postponed because of the sea conditions but we were lucky enough to be able to postpone our booking to the following week. We landed on the D.O.C. land and walked part way up the peak - we didn't feel any pressure to make it to the top, especially when people coming down told us it was cloudy at the top; anyhow we were entranced by the stitchbird feeders and the birdlife in the bush. There were stunning views through the trees on the way down and we had our first encounter with a kaka - and a group of year 11 geography students. Some borrowed our binoculars and we enjoyed their enthusiasm. But best of all at this bit of the island was patient scrutiny of the cover and the realisation that there were indeed takahe in the grass scrubland. They were shy, but they were there. Then on by boat to the Northend and the wonderful hospitality of the family running the Nature tour. Birdlife abounded everywhere, there was so much it was almost silly - we didn't have to move from our cabin to see takahe, kereru, weka and kaka and clouds of gold finches. The food was plentiful and excellent, - as the sole veggie I was well catered for. No kiwis were spotted on the the walk that night, but it was still magical, listening to their calls and also the outrageous noise made by those very small blue penguins. A great night in a comfortable bed, a fantastic breakfast and then more walks more birding - kingfishers and then completely by chance a fern bird. More good company over lunch and time for a little amble and some more birding in the sunshine before the boat took us off - this was a memorable trip, one of the highlights of our visit to New Zealand. If you love birds, want to experience great hospitality and can get to Kapiti and stay over - don't miss it.

Reviewed about 7 years ago

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Miranda Krestovnikoff's avatar

Miranda Krestovnikoff

United Kingdom

Ranking: 10/10

Unique way to experience wildlife on this stunning island. Small groups taken across and there is a chance to stay overnight and see kiwi in the wild, just behind the lodge! Awaken in the morning to the glorious sound of native bird song - it doesn't get better than this!

Reviewed over 7 years ago and experienced in January 2015

Daniel Tawhai's avatar

Daniel Tawhai

New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

We went for the overnight stay. On the first day we walked to the Tuteremoana (Highest peak of the island), that night we stayed in the lodge and went Kiwi sighting, then the next day we walked to the peak at the north end. What a magical experience! Were so lucky to have great weather and see some very rare birds and get some great photos (Kokako, Takahe, Kiwi, Tieke, and many more). It was like arriving in another world as we jumped off the little boat onto shore, seeing and hearing birds running around the ground and soaring above the tree tops. Was very humbling to sit in the bush and at the peaks of the island and be part of what NZ was like once upon a time. The lodge and our cabin was very warm on what was a freezing cold night. The hospitality and food was awesome and I left the table fully satisfied every time. Tea, coffee, juice, water, and fruit was available 24/7. Nga mihi nui ki a Manaaki, Vikki, ratou ki nga kaimahi, kaitiaki hoki o te motu tapu o Kapiti!

Reviewed about 8 years ago

Amanda Morrison's avatar

Amanda Morrison

New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

Fantastic. Highly recommend. A bucket list item everyone should do and it will exceed all expectations. We did the overnight, kiwi-spotting tour and it was amazing. Our hosts were so hospitable and knowledgable. The food was excellent. Highlights were having a takahe (one of the rarest birds in the worl) wandering around on the lawn by the lodge, happy to come with a metre of us; having a little spotted kiwi fossicking around on the lawn, and later seeing another in the bush; a kaka alighting on my husband's shoulder, and just the lovely peacefulness of the place.

Reviewed about 8 years ago