Kapiti is an island off the west coast just north or Wellington. While relatively small, just 8 kilometers long and 2 wide, it has quite a long (and some times bloody) history.
In the 18th & 19th centuries the Maori settled the island, and subsequently the island was fought over by rival Maori tribes. The waters near the island are used by whales as a nursery for their young. Therefore, the island was used by whalers as a base. At the peak of whaling there were two thousand people based on the island.
The island is now a wildlife sanctuary, mainly for endangered bird species, some of which exist nowhere else in the world. Many of the bird species have been re-introduced to the island after having been formerly eradicated from it. In the 1980’s & 90’s introduced animals were removed from the island, including sheep & possums.
Kapiti island gives its name to the mainland coastline that is opposite, on which the main centres are Paraparaumu, Waikanae & Te Horo to name a few. It is a major tourist destination, located just an hour out of Wellington, and weekend escape for kiwis.
We spent a very relaxing weekend on the Kapiti Coast in Autumn, staying in Waikanae Beach. We enjoyed the local cafes & restaurants, explored the coastline. Just the antidote for busy city life.