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FAQs & Cancellation Policy

Frequently asked questions

Important information to know before your Kapiti Island visit.

What happens if I need to cancel my trip?

We understand that plans change, so please call or email us if you need to change or cancel your trip.

Freephone - 0800 527 484

Email - bookings@kapitiisland.com 

Please Note:

  • A $20 charge applies to any booking changes made

  • No booking fee is charged

  • No credit card transaction fee is charged

  • No refunds will be given in the event of your failure to notify us of your cancellation 24 hours before the check-in time

We accept VISA and MASTERCARD credit cards.

Our cancellation policy

If you cancel more than 14 days before your arrival date we will give you a full refund.

If you cancel your booking within: 

  • 14 days of the arrival date, we will refund 75% of the booking price.

  • 1 day of your arrival date, or don’t turn up on the day, we won’t give you a refund at all.

Can I change my booking date?

Yes (subject to availability). An administration fee applies. 

If you change your booking more than 14 days before your arrival date there will be a $20 admin fee to pay. If you change your booking within 14 days of your arrival date there will be a $20 admin fee + the DOC permit fee to pay.  

If you want to change your booking within 1 day of your arrival date there will be a fee of 50% of your total booking cost to pay.

Please call or email us if you need to change the date of your trip. Contact us.

What happens if my trip is cancelled due to bad weather?

We will do our best to get you to Kapiti Island, however safety is paramount. If your trip is cancelled by the ferry skipper due to unsafe sea or weather conditions you can transfer your booking to another available date or request a full refund.

What should I bring for a day trip to Kapiti Island?

Clothing & other essentials
Whatever time of year you visit it’s always a good idea to bring good walking shoes or boots, a water bottle, your camera and a small backpack to carry your lunch and any spare clothes. The weather can be changeable so pack multiple layers of clothing, including a light jacket. We also recommend a sunhat and sunscreen as the New Zealand sun can burn you quite quickly if you’re not protected.

Food
We can arrange a packed lunch for you if requested in advance, otherwise you’ll need to bring some food to keep you going. There isn’t anywhere on Kapiti Island that you can buy food.

There is no fresh drinking water at the shelter at Waiorua. Please bring plenty of water for your day trip (especially during the hot summer days).

If you book the “Ferry Only” option with Kapiti Island Nature Tours we can add a packed lunch (catering to any dietary requirements). Please add this on when booking online, or call or email us to arrange.

If you book a “Day Tour” with Kapiti Island Nature Tours this will include a delicious cooked lunch at the Lodge. Please let us know if you have any dietary requirements so we can cater to them.

The birds can be very cheeky (especially the Kākā!) so the Department of Conservation (DOC) ask that you keep all food in sealed containers. Open bags of food are not allowed on the island.  

Extra seasonal items for summer and winter
From December to March you could bring a swimsuit. There are good swimming spots at Waiorua Bay (if you’re visiting Waiorua) and off Rangatira Point (if you’re visiting Rangatira in the middle of the island).

From April to November you might also want to bring a warm hat.

We’d recommend you check the weather forecast before your visit.  

What should I bring for an overnight stay on Kapiti Island?

We encourage you to keep luggage to a minimum for an overnight stay.  

As a starting point you’ll want to bring the same items as above for a day trip, plus your bathroom necessities.  

We provide all bedding and a towel and have lots of extra blankets available if the night is chilly.

We’d recommend a warm fleecy jacket or top for Kiwi spotting – it’s important to be as quiet as possible, as “noisy” clothing (eg. nylon jacket or pants, jandals or flip flops) can disturb the Kiwi.

What if I have medical or mobility issues?

If you or any of your party have any mobility or medical issues or concerns you must inform us when you are booking your trip. This will enable us to assess the trip’s suitability for you and provide additional support if needed. The trails are not paved and require a reasonable level of fitness to complete the tracks and in particular to climb to the highest point.

How do you access the island from the boat?

Access to the island is via a ramp and the beach is stony. You will need to be able to walk across an uneven and stony beach. If you have any concerns please ask and we can help you assess the trip’s suitability.

Where do I check in?

Our office/shop is at 29 Marine Parade, Paraparaumu Beach. Please check-in here 20 to 40 minutes before your scheduled sailing time.

Where can I park my vehicle at Paraparaumu Beach?

There is a free public car park available at the Kapiti Boating Club. This car park is directly in front of the boating clubrooms. There are also free public car parks to the left of the Boating Club near the park and playground area. These are clearly marked. You can’t park on the beach – beach access is restricted to vehicles launching or retrieving boats.

For camper vans, there are three allocated sites – 54, 62 & 69 Marine Parade, Paraparaumu Beach where you can park your camper for up to 24 hours.

You will find more detailed information here: Freedom Camping in Kapiti.

What facilities are available on Kapiti Island?

At Rangatira Point in the middle of the island there are toilets and a public shelter. Fresh drinking water is available at the visitor shelter.

At Waiorua (the north end of the island) there are toilets and a public shelter. It isn’t currently possible to walk from Rangatira to Waiorua.  

There is no fresh drinking water at the shelter at Waiorua. Please bring plenty of water for your day trip (especially during the hot summer days).

Also at Waiorua there is an area of privately owned land with a few whānau (family) houses on it.  This is where the Kapiti Island Nature Tours Lodge is located. At the Lodge there are toilets and showers for visitors staying overnight. As Kapiti Island is so remote, our tap water comes from rainwater storage tanks and is carefully managed in the summer months.

There are no public cooking or camping facilities for use on the island.

What sort of weather should I expect?

The climate on Kapiti Island is generally warm and temperate. Rainfall peaks from June to August.  The driest months are generally January to March.  

September to November

Spring, with cool-to-warm days and cold-to-cool nights

Low: 8°C  High: 18°C

December to February

Summer, with warm-to-hot days and cool-to-warm nights

Low: 12°C  High: 25°C

March to May

Autumn, with cool-to-warm days and cool nights

Low: 8°C  High: 20°C

June to August

Winter, with cool-to-cold days and cold nights

Low: 4°C  High: 14°C

Source website click here

How do I get to Kapiti Island?

To get to the island you must book transport with Kapiti Island Nature Tours. The ferry departs from Paraparaumu Beach at set times between 8am and 11am each day. We’ll confirm your check-in and sailing time when you book, and again by text the day before your visit.  

The boat ride across the flourishing Marine Reserve takes around 20 minutes.

Private vessels such as kayaks, boats, paddle boards and jet skis are not allowed to land on Kapiti Island.  

Kapiti Island is a popular destination all year round, so booking in advance is essential, especially during the peak summer season.

When can I visit Kapiti Island?

A trip to Kapiti Island is dependent on sea and weather conditions. Kapiti Island Nature Tours operate from September 1st to June 30th.  

Sailings are usually daily from October to mid-May, and Friday to Sunday in late May, June and September, depending on visitor demand. This can vary though, so please don’t hesitate to call or email us to check availability.

Between Christmas and New Year we close the Lodge for whānau (family) time but the ferry continues to operate for day trips only, aside from on Christmas Day and New Years Day.

What time does the ferry sail to Kapiti Island?

The ferries depart Paraparaumu Beach between 8:05 and 10:15am. Check in is 20-40 minutes before your start time. Exact times may vary depending on the number of sailings we have on a particular day. You’ll receive an email with full details of your booking. If you’re able to supply a mobile number, we also send text confirmation the day before your sailing. (Please check your sailing time with reservations the night before if you do not receive a text message from us. Phone  0800 527 484.).

What information is included in the 1 hour guided walk (during the day)?

The 1 hour guided walk includes information on Kapiti Island history, flora, fauna, conservation (past and present), and birds (including help with identification and specific bird behaviours).

Can I swim at the Lodge on Kapiti Island?

You can – Waiorua Bay is a stony beach with crystal clear waters. The area directly in front of the Lodge is usually quite calm. Please speak to one of our friendly team at the Lodge to check conditions on the day and let them know where you’ll be swimming.

Since 1963 there’s also been an annual swim from Kapiti Island back to the Mainland.

Are there mosquitoes on Kapiti Island?

Kapiti Island is not affected by mosquitoes in the summer months, although as with anywhere in New Zealand, once the damper weather arrives we do experience a small increase in mosquito activity.  They seem to bother some people more than others, so if you’re susceptible we recommend bringing insect repellent.

Can I take home a memento from my trip?

We subscribe to the “take only pictures, leave only footprints” kaupapa. Everything on the island is protected by the Department of Conservation, so you won’t be able to remove or interfere with anything, including plant material, feathers, insects, lizards, birds and shells.

We do however have some beautiful cards by local photographers available for purchase at the Lodge, as well as Kapiti Island Manuka Honey.

Is wifi available on Kapiti Island?

While we encourage our visitors to ‘unplug’ and immerse themselves in experiencing Aotearoa as it would have been hundreds of years ago, we do understand that sometimes you need to be able to go online to make a booking or check a reservation. Please call or email us if you’d like to know more.

Are the cabins or glamping tents powered?

There are solar powered lights in the cabins & glamping tents, but no power supply. If you have a medical device which requires electricity overnight then the best accommodation will be our 2 bedroom beach bungalow "Ensuite" option. 

Is smoking allowed?

Smoking, including electronic cigarettes, is not allowed on Kapiti Island, with one exception – a sign-posted location at the water's edge directly in front of the Lodge at Waiorua. Full visitor guidelines are available here.

Do you take group bookings?

We sure do – please call or email us to discuss your needs. We’d love to tailor a memorable visit for your group.

Do you do Christmas parties or corporate events?

We do indeed – please call or email us to discuss your needs. We’d love to tailor something memorable for your group.

Can I hire the Lodge on Kapiti Island as a venue?

Over the years we’ve hosted a few different events, from corporate off-sites to yoga retreats and weaving workshops. Please call or email us to discuss your needs. We love collaborating with like-minded businesses.

Can I bring a portable BBQ and cook my own lunch on Kapiti Island?

Unfortunately not. Due to high fire risk, barbecues and portable stoves are banned on Kapiti Island.

Is Kapiti Island predator-free?

It is! We’re proud to have been predator-free since 1996 and take our responsibility keeping Kapiti Island predator-free very seriously. You'll learn more about the unique conservation history of the island in the Introductory Briefing with an expert local guide when you arrive on Kapiti Island.

What kind of biosecurity checks are involved?

On the morning of your trip we’ll guide you through the process of checking all items to ensure that your clothing, footwear and luggage is free of pests and plant material, including seeds and foliage.  For more information please check out the Department of Conservation Visitor Guidelines.

Is Kapiti Island wheelchair accessible?

The Department of Conservation (DOC) are working to make as many tracks as possible in New Zealand accessible to all visitors, however the tracks on Kapiti Island are not wheelchair accessible.  Both landing points at Kapiti Island require visitors to cross a stony beach. Please click here to learn more about DOC’s track categories.

Can I bring my pram to Kapiti Island?

Most visitors who come to Kapiti Island with kids prefer to bring a carrier to transport their wee ones as the tracks are not designed with a pram in mind. We have limited space on the ferry, but may be able to accommodate a pram on a quieter day. Please add a note when booking online into Special Requirements, or phone or email us to discuss your requirements.

Do you cater to specific dietary requirements?

Absolutely. Our experienced chef is happy to cater to those with allergies or who follow a gluten-free diet, are pescatarian, vegetarian, vegan, paleo and so on. Please let us know in advance what your needs are.

How long will it take to drive to Paraparaumu Beach from Wellington?

The drive from Wellington City to Paraparaumu Beach takes approximately 40 minutes. On public holidays or long weekends traffic can be a little slow – we’d suggest checking with Google Maps for real-time traffic information.

Can I bring walking poles?

Yes, we recommend if you have walking poles to bring them with you.

 Where should I stay the night before or after my visit to Kapiti Island?

It’s entirely up to you! Paraparaumu Beach is approximately 40 minutes drive north from Wellington City. If you’d rather not drive we offer an inclusive day tour, which departs Wellington City at 7am and returns to the city by approximately 6pm (traffic dependent). There are also some great accommodation options near Paraparaumu Beach, including Wrights by the Sea and Kapiti Court Motel. 

What are the ages for infants and children?

Infant = under 4 years
Child = 4 - 14 years.

Get in touch
bookings@kapitiisland.com
0800 527 484
+6427 726 7525

Check-in & Head Office
Kapiti Island Centre
29 Marine Parade
Paraparaumu Beach

Open Google Map 

Ferry Departure & Parking
The ferry departs from Kapiti Boating Club. Parking is available there or at the nearby park and playground area on Marine Parade.

How can we help? 

Email us bookings@kapitiisland.com or use the form below

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