Photo by Valentin Weinhäupl/age fotostock
Around one hour by car north of Wellington, Kapiti Island has been a protected wildlife reserve since 1897. Measuring less than eight square miles, the island can only be visited with a licensed tour operator; Kapiti Island Nature Tours is run by a local Maori family with historic links to the island, and their trips incorporate glimpses of birds, including the stout kereru (wood pigeon), and the endangered and flightless takahe. Marine life here includes a seal colony. Kapiti Island Nature Tours also offers overnight stays with the opportunity to witness the nocturnal activities of New Zealand's shy national bird, the kiwi.
By Brett Atkinson, AFAR Local Expert
Kapiti Island, Wellington 5032, New Zealand