Kapiti Island is the coastline's dominant feature, a 10km by 2km slice that has been a protected reserve since 1897. Predator-free since 1998 (22,500 possums were eradicated here in the 1980s), it's now home to a remarkable range of birds, including many species that are extinct on the mainland.
To visit the island, you must make your arrangements in advance with one of two licensed operators. Remember to reconfirm your arrangements on the morning of departure, as sailings are weather-dependent. All boats depart from Paraparaumu Beach, which can be reached by train.