Kapiti Mainland Guided Bush & Bird Walk
See why Kapiti is also known as “Nature Coast”. Within 15minutes of leaving SH 1 we are in the Akatarawa Forest. Covering an area of approximately 14,000 hectares from Paraparaumu through to the Hutt Valley the forest was used by early Maori for hunting and food gathering. Translated to English, Akatarawa means 'trailing vines' and the forest is now a mix of indigenous and native forest.
Walking through remnants of ancient forest with giant rimu, totara, tawa, matai, kahikatea and pukatea we see many of the over 200 fern species native to New Zealand, wild orchids and often spot feeding kereru (wood pigeon). Our track is formed from falling leaves and old stream beds and with no formed track and no people we could be hours away from civilisation.
We then come out of the bush to visit one of the best stands of Nikau palms in the district. A total contrast to the temperate New Zealand bush the Nikau is a striking palm and this lovely remnant of Nikau’s and kohekohe’s (related to mahogany) look like they belong in the tropical forests of Asia and northern Australia.
After lunch we explore the Waikanae Estuary, a national treasure as a wildlife habitat. At the Estuary, freshwater from the Tararua Ranges meets the saltwater of the Kapiti coast. This mixing of the waters and the ever shifting river mouth create an environment of rich plant and animal communities. More species of coastal and aquatic birds visit the Estuary than any other site on the Wellington coast and over 60 species of birds breed there.
Walking along the sand spit, river banks and lagoons we often see oystercatchers and banded dotterels, pukeko, dabchicks, Godwits, Caspian terns, royal spoonbills, nesting shags and many others. Learn about the rare plants and wildlife and the great Battle of Kuititanga, fought here between the between the local Te Ati Awa and Ngati Raukawa tribes in 1839. The area is sacred to the people of Te Ati Awa ki Whakarongotai who are tangata whenua of this area.
The walk is an easy grade. Full day Adult $90, Children under 15 by arrangement. Half Day Bush or Estuary Walk, Adult $45. Minimun charge of $180 applies.
Trips leave from Paraparaumu i-SITE at 9.00am and return by 4.30pm. Available September to May. Morning tea and transport supplied. Pick-up from Paraparaumu train station and in the Paraparaumu area also available on request. Bookings at the i-SITE or Phone Jenny on 04 9056610 Mobile: 0276554739
Kohekohe in flower, Kapiti
Akatarawa Forest, Kapiti