Kapiti Island Activities

There are so many things to do on Kapiti Island. Hear the haunting call of the kōkako, meet the quirky native birds, be guided on a magical journey or tramp to the top of Tuteremoana for unrivalled views. Learn why Kapiti Island is just so special.

Bring your wetsuit and mask, and explore the underwater forest

The Kāpiti Marine Reserve connects Kapiti Island with the Waikanae river estuary – so there is literally another world at Kāpiti to be explored – underwater! The water is certainly refreshing but it’s a snorkeler’s dream just off the beach of Kapiti Island. Perfect on a hot summer’s day.

Hear the haunting call of the kōkako

Sit quietly on the steps of the historic Whare at Rangatira Point and listen for the iconic kōkako. Flourishing breeding and recent new additions to the flock mean you are likely to be rewarded.

Read about the recent kōkako release.

Take the low road and see the birds

The views from Tuteremoana (the summit of Kapiti Island) will take your breath away, once you catch it that is! If being surrounded by rare, native birds appeals more than a big hike, the lowland tracks at both Rangatira Point and the North End are full of feathered whanau, and are suitable for people of all fitness levels.

Read about Kapiti's walking tracks


If you stay in one place on Kapiti Island it won't take long until one of the curious locals come to have a look - from cheeky kākā to thieving wekas, playful pīwakawaka to the occasional takahē. Kapiti Island also offers some fantastic walks, where you are likely to come across some of the more shy island residents

Kapiti Island Walking Tracks - Rangatira Area

Walk through forest to view birds and the historic whare, the oldest building associated with nature conservation in New Zealand. Or climb the track to Tuteremoana, the highest point on Kapiti Island at 521 m above sea level.

Rangatira Loop walk  | Time: 1 hr 30 min loop | Distance: 1.8 km loop

Start at the Rangatira shelter and enjoy an easy walk through regenerating forest and coastal shrubland. See whaling pots (artefacts from the island’s whaling history) and the historic whare. Explore the Rangatira wetland via a boardwalk, then walk around the coastal section back to the shelter.

Wilkinson Track | Time: 2 hr one way | Distance: 3.8 km one way

Walk to Tuteremoana along a well-formed track with a steady uphill climb. Pass a picnic area and bird feeding station a third of the way up. There is a toilet 10 minutes from the summit. This is an ideal track for all ages and fitness levels.

Trig Tramping Track | Time: 2 hr one way | Distance: 2 km one way

This is a more challenging walk to Tuteremoana with narrow, uneven sections. It is considerably steeper than the Wilkinson Track and should only be attempted by confident trampers with good, sturdy footwear. This is recommended as an uphill track only - loop back down Wilkinson.

Kapiti Island Walking Tracks - North End

Walking tracks at the northern end of the island pass through grassland, shrubland, regenerating forest and coastline, and provide fantastic views of freshwater Okupe Lagoon.

Okupe Valley Loop Walk | Time: 1 hr 30 min return | Distance: 4.8 km return

This follows a gentle gradient to a lookout above the western cliffs (198 m).

Boulder Bank Loop Track | Time: 45 min loop | Distance: 2 km loop

This walk follows the coastline around the boulder bank. This track is closed from October to March to avoid disturbing nesting seabirds.

Beach Landing to Shelter Track | Time: 5 min one way | Distance: 185 m one way

Start at beach edge and finish at the junction before north end visitor shelter.


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