Friday, January 25, 2013
Kiwi hunter dog on Kapiti Island
Last summer I visited Kapiti Island for a day. Kapiti Island is off the - wait for it, you'll never guess where it is! - Kapiti Coast. It's on New Zealand's North Island. The jumping off point (or in Kapiti Island's case, the 'sailing' off point) is Paraparaumu, about 45 mins from Wellington. The Kapiti Coast is also on Highway No 1 as you're approaching Wellington from the North. You have to get a day pass from the Department of Conservation (DOC) to land on Kapiti Island. The pass can be bought from any DOC office, or purchased online. There's a boat that leaves daily and you won't be allowed on it without the pass.
On the day that I went over to Kapiti, the "kiwi dog" came with us on the boat. He is a specially trained dog to sniff out kiwi bird burrows, so that DOC staff know for their records what the endangered birds are doing, how healthy they are, are their any little new-born kiwi chicks, etc.
Kapiti Island is a great untouched place to visit. It's a steep climb to the top of the island, but well worth it. Or you can just hang around on a lower level, or halfway up the hill.
You leave Paraparaumu about 10 a.m. and Kapiti about 4 pm. There are all sorts of lovely birds on Kapiti that you might be fortunate to see. It's a nice picnic day.
(Aside: my sore ankles are improving. The sooner I can get rid of the stupid bandages, the better.)