Enjoyed Labour Weekend on the Kapiti Coast this year with a group of friends. We stayed in the motorhomes at the Kapiti Holiday Resort. This is a camp in Paraparaumu with an unusual feature. Each site has it’s own separate on site building with a toilet and shower. We don’t really need these with our self contained van, but it would be fantastic if you were staying in a tent. Nice camp, and not too far to walk to the beach, restaurants and the boat to Kapiti Island.
Many people have told me that Kapiti Island is on their ‘bucket list’. We have been there before but many of our friends hadn’t, so the plan was formed.
You are only able to go to Kapiti Island on a charter ferry service. Private vessels are not allowed to land on the island. Kapiti Island is 5 km off the coast from Paraparaumu. There is no wharf, the boat is launched into the sea off a special tractor and the trip is weather dependent. Unfortunately the day we went it was a little rough – even worse on the way back- but most of us on board were quite relaxed about it. Usually you spend five hours on the island before your return trip. Overnight stays are available in a family lodge. This family arrived on the island in 1820. There are also guided walks available. We chose to just be part of the DOC talk then do our own thing. The talk by a DOC ranger was fantastic. Very informative and well presented.
DOC took over administration of the island in 1987. It allows 50 visitors per day to the island, you need to book and it can fill up fast. The island is possum free, the native trees and the birds tell their own story on this, and it became rat free in 1998. Your bags are checked for creatures big and small before boarding the boat. Don’t take your pet mouse or your old lunch with ants crawling through it!
Kapiti Island is one of New Zealand’s most important sites for bird recovery as well as being a major breeding site for sea birds. It is home to a number of native birds, and we saw many different birds during the day.
We climbed to the top of the island where there is a lookout with a great view (of course). It’s a good climb for us retired folk.
Other pleasures to pass the time on the Kapiti Coast: One night for dinner we went to the local club right on the beachfront. A little strange as they had a band playing (not many people dancing but it was a great band) because the rugby (All Blacks) was on at the same time. Of course our crew were watching the rugby (no sound)! It’s a nice club, the Vista. It’s a long beach for a stroll, or you could walk to Raumati South as we did. Whitebaiting is good down that way too. Always interesting in different areas, they fish with a different style of net to those we use in the Naki.