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 South Wairarapa Tramping Club    

December 9, 2021 December 2021 No Comments

A cheeky Kaka trying to get to the dried apricots.

KAPITI ISLAND NATURE TOURS

After receiving confirmation at 7am from the tour operators that the weather conditions were favourable, we met at their office for a biosecurity inspection. Fortunatly no rats, mice, or any other vermin were found and we proceeded to the launch, being careful not to put our bags on the ground in case we picked up any Argentinian ants. (Apparently now introduced to NZ, but not found on Kapiti.)

A bouncy 15 minute boat ride took us to the DOC visitor centre. A Ranger gave us a talk about the history of Kapiti, the birds, and their protection, and then we were free to walk up to the highest peak ( Tuteremoana -521m) or on the other local tracks.

We meandered around some lower tracks enjoying the bird song and luxuriant bush, then headed uphill to a hihi (stichbird) feeding station, seeing large numbers of hihi flitting in and out, when not being monstered by a fierce tui.  Kaka and weka abound, and make eating lunch a mission. One kaka opened a pack zip and was shoved off just before he got into a bag of dried apricots.

At 2.30 we headed back to the beach for the launch to take us to private land at the north end of the island where there are cabins, glamping tents, and a large dining area facing out to sea. Our meals were innovative and delicious and we had a cosy night in the tent.

Once it was dark guides took groups out to spot kiwi. We could hear them calling some distance away but none close. We walked around in the moonlight, aided by red torchlight, and after an hour were lucky to locate a large female kiwi, 1.8kg our guide said. The kiwi bustled around digging out morsels and almost walked right amongst our legs. Just before bed we had our own kiwi experience right by our tent and composting loo: a smaller kiwi, probably male, who seemed oblivious to us scuttling in and out of bushes doing the kiwi dig.

Our trip was run by a family organisation with links to Kapiti since 1820. They have managed to retain private ownership of land, and have built the facilities to welcome visitors. Learning about their family history adds a different dimension to the usual Kapiti experience.

SWTC welcomes new members. Phone or email Ed and Juliet Cooke, 06 304 9497, or efjac@xtra.co.nz. See our Facebook page and website.

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