Between the Tararua Ranges to the east and the ocean to the west lies the Kapiti Coast, a haven for New Zealand’s natural flora and fauna. Kapiti-Horowhenua may be on a well-known scenic coast, but its landscape and tourism operators offer much more. Visitors to the region are often surprised when they find the area has such a rich and exciting history and even more exciting when they discover the many innovative businesses that call Nature Coast their home.
It’s this delicate balance that makes the coast so appealing. Today, among the variety of bird life, fantails fly overhead and the Nikaus grow abundantly alongside other native plants. Nature Coast, the region’s tourism agency, has incorporated the Fantail and the Nikau into new brand imagery.
During weekends you will find many people from outside of the region heading north to their favourite café, and you will find wine lovers with a glass in their hand. But don’t let it stop there. For those with an adventurous spirit it’s the ideal place to stop over for a weekend and take the time to visit one of the many tourism ventures where you can have close encounters with its abundant bird life or its magnificent flora and fauna or any of the new ventures that are being established.
The 15ha Nga Manu Nature Reserve in Waikanae is something of a hidden jewel on the Kapiti Coast. It contains the largest single remnant of native lowland coastal swamp forest on the Kapiti Coast, and is home to 700 plant and 56 bird species.
What makes this beautiful reserve is its top facilities and important breeding programmes extra special is that it is operated by a charitable trust. The trust’s aims are to create a reserve for endangered New Zealand flora and fauna, and educate New Zealanders, especially children, about the country’s natural heritage.
The reserve contains several aviaries designed to allow visitors to stand in the birds’ habitats. Kakariki, kea and kaka are housed in these aviaries and the reserve also cares for injured and sick kereru (native pigeons) and operates a soft-release programme – allowing the birds to fly free when they are ready, but providing food as they adjust to life on the “outside”.
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