Kapiti Island Nature Reserve


painting of Kapiti Island

Painting by Peg Rowe, local artist.

Kapiti Island

Kapiti Island is home to an internationally famed nature reserve protecting some of the world's rarest and most endangered birds. The island is one of New Zealand's most valuable nature reserves being the only large island sanctuary for birds between the Hauraki Gulf in the north and the most southern outlying islands. 5km offshore and covering an area of 1965 hectares, Kapiti Island is 10km long and about 2km wide. The highest point, Tuteremoana, is 520m above sea level.

Vegetation on the island today are Kohekohe, Tawa and Kanuka. Many parts of the island are covered in scrub which is dominated by Fivefinger, Mahoe and Kanuka. These are regenerating after the devastating clearance fires of the 1800s and earlier. The bird life is abundant, with Kaka, Kakariki, Robin, Saddleback, Stitchbird, Weka, Kereru, Bellbird, Kiwi and the very rare Takahe.

A Marine Reserve lies adjacent to the Kapiti Island.