Islands in the Hauraki Gulf
Islands in the Hauraki Gulf

Islands in the Hauraki Gulf, public spaces for boat trips

Islands invoke a sense of holiday. Escape from the routine of weekdays, take to the water and find an island. There are places where native wildlife have a precious sanctuary, there are places where an active volcano tells a story of a massive eruption, places where the history of human endeavour has left its mark and places where water sports have a fabulous playground.

Cape Rodney-Okakari Point Marine Reserve (Goat Island)

Perhaps the most popular Island due to its accessibility from Leigh. The marine reserve is a playground for kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving and glass bottom boat trips. From a mere 100 metres from the beach protecting the island from Pacific Ocean swells. The island is part of a marine reserve and no landing is permitted.

Great Barrier Island/Aotea

Aotea Conservation Park on Great Barrier Island/Aotea has over 12,000 hectares with multiple walking tracks for experienced trampers to family groups. Kaitoke Hot Springs Track is a popular 7 km walk following the edge of the Kaitoke Swamp to sulphurous hot springs. The only wilderness walk, in the Auckland region with two DOC accommodation huts and plenty of campsites.

Kawau Island Historic Reserve

A magnificent colonial mansion, the home of Sir George Grey. The house, gardens and tracks on the reserve are open to the public making a great Matakana Coast day trip.

Te Hauturu-o-Toi / Little Barrier Island Nature Reserve

Te Hauturu-o-Toi / Little Barrier Island is New Zealand’s first nature reserve, established in 1896 and a safe haven for a multitude of critically endangered species.

Long Bay-Okura Marine Reserve

Sheltered inner shallow ocean waters protect a variety of coastal habitats: sandy beaches, rocky reefs, estuarine mudflats and mangroves. A easy day trip back to nature, only 20 km from Auckland.

Mokohinau Islands

A predator island is worth an overnight boat trip. Lying 100 km north-east of Auckland the islands are home to numerous seabirds. There are rare native skinks. Recreational activities include walking and diving.

Motuihe Island

A snapshot of history with human occupation leaving its imprint. And then there was a quarantine station, a prisoner of war camp and naval training base. Being just 45 minutes day trippers can explore the island’s history and see if you can find and observe the elusive tuatara in the wild.

Motuora Island

A predator free island where the only visitors are those who use private water transport. Perhaps you might be one of few visitors and there are DOC campsites to lengthen your stay. The island is a creche for the endangered North Island brown kiwi giving overnight visitors a chance to hear the haunting whoop of a kiwi foraging nearby.

Motutapu Island

An ancient landmass at 178 million years old predator free Motutapu has been occupied for hundreds of years. Motutapu was a popular destination for Victorian picnic parties, and was a base during World War II. There are numerous short and medium walking tracks with the challenge of the Rangitoto causeway connecting the two islands.

Rangitoto Island

New Zealand’s latest volcanic upstart is a witness to New Zealand’s place on the Pacific ring of fire. It is a fascinating place to observe the natural colonisation of a volcanic island. The walks and views as well as the island’s proximity to Auckland make Rangitoto a favourite day trip destination. For overseas visitors a chance to get up close and personal with very recent lava flows.

Tiritiri Matangi Island

Tiritiri Matangi is rich in Māori and European history is a pioneer in successful community-lead conservation projects in the world to restore natural flora and fauna. Birdsong greets birdwatchers who view Tiritiri Matangi as a must go destination.

Rotoroa Island

Rotoroa Island is a quiet jewel with its predator free status and an interesting history as the Salvation Army detoxification zone. The beaches such as Mens Beach and Ladies Beach provide ample opportunity to relax, picnic and swim.

Waiheke Island

A well known wine and food destination creating a popular Hauraki Gulf day trip for locals and visitors alike. Waiheke is awash with accommodation options, A popular day trip destination for families, with good boating, swimming, fishing, and kayaking.

The journey is worth it.

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