This week, in an extraordinary collaborative effort, hundreds of travel writers from around the world will post stories about New Zealand
for the Blog4NZ project. Parts of the tiny island nation off the east coast of Australia suffered terrible damage in the recent earthquake and tsunami there. But many parts of the islands remained untouched and are desperately hurting for tourism business. Although we’ve never been to New Zealand, it’s been on our Top 10 Places To Visit list for quite some time. So we enlisted the help of our friend Jim McIntosh, a native New Zealander and travel blogger on Holes In My Soles, to contribute this guest blog on his favorite NZ ecotourism hotspot. 

 

KAPITI ISLAND, NEW ZEALAND

A Unique Nature Reserve

by Jim McIntosh, bird photos courtesy Kapiti Island Nature Tours

The skyline of our area on the lower North Island of New Zealand is dominated by Kapiti Island, almost all of which is now an internationally renowned, predator-free Nature Reserve (a small area of the northernmost end is still privately owned land). Rats, stoats, possums– all introduced predators have been eradicated, and restriction of private landings helps maintain that status, ensuring no stowaway rat gets ashore again.

 

Possums, with no natural predators and with lush vegetation growth all year round (unlike the seasonally dry Australian environment, from which they were introduced to NZ),  reached epidemic proportions in our country. Our Aussie cuzzies were destroying us! Chewing through millions of tons of new growth every night, these invasive animals are also known to raid eggs from bird’s nests. The clearing of our native forests and introduced predators decimated our native bird life. The song disappeared from our forests. The deafening dawn bird chorus was stilled. Gone.

Kapiti Island’s mountainous terrain of gullies and hills is now draped with regenerating native bush and, with it, the return of many birds bringing their songs to life again. As the bird population grows on the island, many will migrate to the mainland, finding refuge in the natural forest reserves along our coast, but taking their chances with predators here. Many survive, as we see them in our gardens feeding on nectar from flax, kowhai or other flowering trees. My blog Song of the Tui was inspired by my observations of tui in trees outside our home– new arrivals from Kapiti braving the dangers of the mainland.

Kapiti Island is now a safe haven, and the kokako, saddleback, stitchbird, brown kiwi, weka, brown teal and tui all make their home there.  Another kiwi species, the little spotted kiwi (which is extinct on the mainland), thrives there. Kaka and weka will playfully steal your crumbs. 

 

The island’s safe habitats also allow programs to breed endangered species such as our critically endangered takahe. Only 280 of these heavy, robust flightless birds exist in the world, but Kapiti Island provides a perfectly safe breeding ground for the tame species.

To stay overnight on Kapiti Island, you can check out Kapiti Island Nature Tours. At Kapiti Nature Lodge you will be genially hosted, feasting off local seafood, and taking nighttime kiwi-spotting tours. There is also a volunteer option and a secluded and quiet natural environment, for those with a love of birdwatching or just a desire to get away from it all.

 

 

 

7 Responses to Blog4NZ- Kapiti Island, New Zealand

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge

Co-Founded by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett, Green Global Travel is an ecotourism, nature / wildlife conservation & cultural preservation magazine. More about us.

HAVE YOU VOTED TODAY?

Green Global Travel has been nominated for the Best Couples Travel Bloggers by USA Today! PLEASE click on the blue image below to vote for us! You can vote up to once per day through Aug 6, and no personal info is required.

Help Support Green Global Travel!

Each time you make a purchase on Amazon.com using the link below,we'll earn a small percentage, at no extra cost to you.


Amazon

www.amazon.com

Thanks for your support! - Bret & Mary

Follow Us

Proud members of: The International Ecotourism SocietyCheck out our other sites!
Green Travel Reviews
  EcoAdventure Media

Destinations We’ve Covered:

• AFRICA
Egypt- Top 5 Eco Attractions
South Africa- Londolozi Game Reserve Safari
South Africa- Kruger National Park
South Africa- South Africa- Zulu Memories
Tanzania- Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro

 
• ANTARCTICA
How To Get To Antarctica Without Doing the Drake
The Haunting Beauty of Icebergs
Penguins of Antarctica
Taking the Polar Plunge
Top 5 Eco Attractions in Antarctica
Whales of Antarctica
 
• ASIA
India- Ranthambhore National Park
Laos- The Pastoral Paradise of Muang Ngoi
Malaysia- Borneo Sun Bear Conservation Centre
Nepal- Hiking The Annapurna Circuit
Taiwan- Top 5 Eco Activities in Taipei
Thailand- Top 5 National Parks
 
• AUSTRALIA/OCEANIA
Australia- Top 5 Eco Attractions
Australia-Kangaroo Island
New Zealand- Kapiti Island
New Zealand- Tongariro National Park
New Zealand- Top 5 Ecotourism Attractions
Tahiti- First Impressions
Tahiti- Moorea 4x4 Safari Tour
Tahiti- Moorea, Tiki Village Theater
Tahiti- Pearl Diving in Bora Bora
Tahiti- Ruahatu Marine Sanctuary, Bora Bora
Tonga- Eua Island Eco Activities

 

• NORTH AMERICA
CANADA
Churchill- Into the Wild of Manitoba
Churchill- Polar Bear Fight
Churchill- Polar Bear Photo Gallery
Churchill- Tundra Wildlife

UNITED STATES
America’s Best Volcanoes
AK- Denali National Park
FL- Sanibel Island Eco Activities
FL- Crystal River, Swimming with Manatees
GA- Barnsley Gardens
GA- Top 5 Autumn Activities Around Atlanta
GA- Best Christmas Light Displays
GA- Top 20 Atlanta Christmas Events
GA- Jekyll Island Eco Activities
GA- Weekend in North GA Mountains
GA- Top 5 Eco Attractions in North GA
HI- Hawaii’s Big Island
HI- Hawaiian Mythology
MT- Hiking Glacier National Park
NC- Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge
NC- Asheville's Green Restaurants Scene
NC- Greensboro Travel Guide
NC- Great Smoky Mountains National Park
NC- Outer Banks Wild Horses
NM- Top 5 Eco Attractions
NY- Going Green in NYC
WV- Outdoor Adventures
Yellowstone- Mammoth Hot Springs
Yellowstone- Lamar Valley
Yellowstone- Grand Canyon & Hayden Valley
Yellowstone- Upper Geyser Basin
Yellowstone- Lower Geyser Basin

MEXICO
Cancun- Cancun Underwater Museum
Cancun- Mayan Museum of Archaeology
Riviera Maya- Monkeys, Pyramids & Pottery
Riviera Maya- Rio Secreto
Riviera Maya- Tulum & Coba
 
• CARIBBEAN