Kāpiti CoastSee & Do
An adult and three children walk along the forest path at Ngā Manu Nature Reserve in Kāpiti Coast.

Ngā Manu, Kāpiti Coast’s nature reserve

  • Location

    74 Nga Manu Reserve Road, Waikanae, Kāpiti Coast

  • Website

    Ngā Manu

This Kāpiti Coast nature reserve has a goal to preserve and enhance native forests so that their inhabitants can flourish.

Ngā Manu is a 14-hectare reserve and one of the largest remnants of coastal lowland swamp forest on the Kāpiti Coast. In the ancient and regenerating forest, you can see puketea, rimu, swamp maire and kahikatea, some of which are 400 years old.

Ngā Manu is ideal for families and children or school groups. The path that weaves through is easily accessible, mostly flat and can be completed in about 30 minutes.

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Visitors can take a self-guided tour or a free guided forest walk on weekends. There are also many tour options available, ranging from 30 to 90 minutes. On The Native Bird tour, you can get up close and personal with kākā, kakariki, kea, and whio. The Native Icons tour covers kiwi, tuatara, and tuna (eels). On The Ranger-guided tour, you’ll hear about Ngā Manu’s endangered species breeding programme. The Kiwi Night Encounter is an extended walk at dusk. You’ll learn about kiwi and Ngā Manu’s involvement in the captive programme, before entering the outdoor kiwi enclosure. From a covered observation area you can observe interactions and feeding behaviour of kiwi.

Since it opened to the public in 1981 Ngā Manu has partnered with the Department of Conservation (DOC) breed-for-release programmes. It has helped re-establish at-risk species of birds and reptiles in the wild. It has participated in breeding programmes for kiwi, whio, pateke/brown teal, kāka, orange-fronted, red-crowned, yellow-crowned and Antipodes Island parakeet, tuatara, and Whitaker’s skinks.

Ngā Manu also has a long history of involvement in the treatment and rehabilitation of native bird species. Its aim is to release as many birds as possible back into the wild.

Entry fees apply.

Two adults are with a child who is using a stick to feel eels in a point at the Ngā Manu Nature Reserve in the Kāpiti Coast.