kapiti marine reserve

Picture courtesy Peter Daniel

Kapiti Island Nature Reserve

Kapiti Island Nature Reserve is just five kilometres from the mainland yet it has a unique and fascinating flora and fauna. Experience how New Zealand must have been over 100 years ago. En route to Kapiti Island you pass through the Kapiti Marine Reserve and you may perhaps see passing whales and dolphins (only in season). Many birds can be seen too, such as gulls, gannets, penguins, terns and shearwaters.

Kapiti Island was made a fauna and flora reserve in 1897. On arrival at Rangatira Point at the Department of Conservation Shelter, your guide will tell you more about the history of the island and how to reach the summit (521 metres). Your guide will explain what you will likely see along the walking tracks that lead to the summit and the track around the coastline. Walk details are also provided on the DOC information boards. Most birds and the impressive forest are to be found below the 200 metre level. You can tour Kapiti Island and watch the birds at your own pace or just relax for a wonderful day.

To book the ferry and permit, phone (04) 905 6610 or 027 655 4739 or book using the Free phone 0800 433 779 (0800 4FERRY)


Kapiti Explorer & Marine Charter - Servicing Kapiti Island for 30 years

  • Owner Operators
  • Professional and friendly service

Kapiti Explorer & Marine Charter offer:

  • well presented, clean, and stable vessel
  • excellent safety record - 27 years without incident
  • life jackets are available for everyone - babies through to XXXL
  • first aid kit available on the ferry and on the island
  • staff trained in administering first aid
  • staff willing to assist those with special needs

Guided Walks

  • Guided walks can target areas of history, flora and fauna, birdlife and wildlife. Passing on expert knowledge to visitors.
  • $10 Per person (1 Hour)
  • Free 10 minute introduction into a guided walk


We currently transport 95% of all schools to Kapiti Island, and have done for 30 years.

We pride ourselves on meeting their needs

Kapiti Island Ferry and Permits

Schedule *Daily Times
Depart Paraparaumu Beach Between 8:30 am and 9:30 am
Depart Kapiti Island between 2:30 pm and 4:00 pm

Operating Times

19th July to 1st September

Closed for Annual Maintainance

1st September onwards

5th,15th,16th, 17th,19th,22nd September

Groups and Charters by Arraggement

Daily Public sailings available - Minimum of 10 people required for group bookings to proceed.

Confirmed Public Sailings - Spaces available

*Passengers must phone 027 655 4739 on the morning of their trip for a weather check and to confirm the departure time.

**Alternate times for groups by arrangement


All prices include DOC permit and access fees, which contribute to ongoing maintenance on Kapiti.

*Prices Per Person
(Includes Doc Permit Access Fee and Ferry)
Adult - Rangitira Point $75.00
Adult - North End $85.00
Child - Rangitira Point $40.00
Child - North End $50.00
**Schools (Primary & Secondary) $40.00
University $60.00
Guided Walks (1hr) $10 per person

 Payment to be made on the day, by either cash or cheque.

Book a Ferry and Permits with Kapiti Explorer & Marine Charter