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Saturday, February 14, 2015

Day trip to Kapiti Island

We went to Kapiti on my birthday last week. Kapiti is a small island bird sanctuary, about 30km north of Wellington. You need a permit to go there and an official ride over the 5km of water from the mainland.   

Kapiti from the main road.

A perfect day. Hot, no clouds, no wind, sea like glass. We walked around the coast a bit and then up to the highest point – Tuteremoana. It’s only 521 mt but it took a couple of hours, up and up, and I was a bit crippled the next day. And the next day. And the next. Mish fine of course.  

View from the top of the island, looking south west to the South Island. It's sheer on the other side, straight down to the beach. The smudgy dot over the South Island is not the meteor that flashed across our sky last week, it's a wee fungus on the lens blast it. New lens!
We talked to some friendly Canadians and English walkers who came over on the boat with us (it’s currently freezing in their home towns) and shared the walk to the top. Everyone highly amused when I got drenched as the boat backed into the sea to go over. Hooray for the waterproof camera!

Land of the ferns; NZ has 200+ species of fern.

Tree fern

Panorama from half way up, looking back at Paraparaumu

Loads of birds (as we motored up to the beach we could hear them in the bush): weka (a non flyer that looks like a football on legs); kaka (one of our monster parrots); kakariki (parrot); robins, gulls, etc.
A weka. Best I could do, sorry.
They move around quickly. This one is scouting for food (they'll unzip your pack and nick your sandwiches if you don't pay attention)
Back on the rocky beach, dangling legs in the water and  waiting for our pickup, we spotted a seal surfing along the beach.

Kapiti has been farmed, and cleared, and it was a Maori stronghold in the 1800s, with raiding parties heading off to the mainland and a major battle fought here between two Maori groups mid 1800s.The Dept of Conservation took it over as a sanctuary in the 1900s and cleared the island of the bird killers -  rats, stoats, weasels - and 20 000 rotten little possums. They love NZ natives. The bush is recovering fast and the place is alive with birdsong. Some very big trees survived people and fire - in the deep gullies.

Mish under one of the big old trees in a gully; another tree has fallen onto it

Then we had drinks and dinner at the local Waterfront bar and watched the sun go down over the sea. Neato.

It was a brilliant day.

1 comment:

  1. Oh Girls...that sounds like a fabulous day! What a great spot! Love the pics! Love Merran