“This weekend a new era in public access to Kāpiti Island begins with DOC’s increasing of visitor numbers to 150 per day, 363 days of the year,” says Guide Jackie Elliott.
Previously the limit was 50 day permits for the Nature Reserve and 18 for the North End, raised to 36 last summer.
On 31st January 2013, DOC are ceasing to pay wages for the two guides required for daily bio security checks and to accompany the public on the island. The Online Booking system will also close and DOC’s $11.20 per adult permit levy will rise to $28.75 per head.
As a result of these changes the cost of a day trip for a family of four is likely to rise from the current $224.00 to over $320.00 just to cover new overheads.
“It is a concern to us all that ordinary Kiwi families will now be unable to afford to visit Kāpiti and miss out on this iconic visitor experience on their own doorsteps,” says Ms Elliott.no