Where to go and getting there
Visit Kawau Island, discover historic Mansion House or take the Royal Mail Run cruise from Sandspit for a great family day out near Matakana. Kawau escapulates the story of New Zealand with an early governor, Sir George Grey setting up residence in a grand Victorian homestead, importing ‘pests’ Australian wallabies, a copper mining operation and today passionate locals are dedicated to the well being of the flora and fauna surrounding them. It is an island where access is often by boat and walking from one place to another. It is an island where boats and boating skills are essential to getting around. Kawa is Hauraki Gulf’s largest island and a must go destination for visitors to Auckland. It is an island where boats and boating skills are essential to getting around. Kawa is Hauraki Gulf’s largest island and a must go destination for visitors to Auckland.
WHAT TO DO, HIGHLIGHTS
- Royal Mail run cruise to the island as you drop off supplies and parcels
- Mansion House with its ornate Victorian splendour
- Walks around the island
- Lady Bay with its quiet sandy cove
- Coppermine relics
- Stay and relax into island time
The island is a perfect day trip from Mahurangi peninsula village of Sandspit.
Forward bookings are recommended in peak season as this is a very popular day trip.
For day trippers consider packing a picnic lunch giving you the freedom to picnic beside lookout points and quiet beaches. The public toilets are indicated on the Department of Conservation brochure found in the travel pack section.
WHERE TO EAT
- Let’s make a day of it and spoil yourself with a meal enjoying the views of water and light. THE BEACH HOUSE RESTAURANT is fully licensed and has a passion for detail and innovation. Practicing a farm to plate culture, quality free range and fresh local ingredients are cooked and presented to a high standard.
- KAWA BOATING CLUB offers breakfast, lunch and dinner in a relaxed setting. There is a licensed bar. There is a takeaway option for counter food.
- CAFE SANDSPIT, fuel up for the day at the ferry terminal. Sandspit is the main ferry port. Delicious food and stunning views over the sparkling, Hauraki Gulf.
HOW TO GET HERE
- In your own boat or kayak the Hauraki Gulf. Approximately 10 nautical miles from Sandspit boat ramp.
- Catch the regular Kawau Cruises mail run ferry departing 10.30am daily and / or charter a water taxi from Sandspit, Matakana or Omaha.
ESCAPE WITH A TOUCH OF LUXURY
- Parohoe Island Retreat nestled in 20 hectares of native bush in Moores Bay, Parhoe is an activity-based wellness retreat on the Island.
- Kawau Beach House is a unique lodge nestled on the edge of the crystal clear waters of Vivian Bay. We offer boutique beachfront, courtyard and bush cottage accommodation in a quintessential New Zealand setting of native bush, birds and pristine beaches.
- SIR GEORGE GREY colonial governor and has a conflicted historical legacy with the confiscation of Maori land a black mark over his second governorship. A tarnished record of his policies in Taranaki, his invasion of Waikato, and the massive confiscation (raupatu) of Māori land which followed.
- Australian wallabies introduced by Sir George Grey on Kawau are still residents
WHAT TO DO WITH THE KIDS
- Observe a wallaby in the bush
- Explore the island on the various short walks
- Camp Bentzon – Outdoor Education Facility At North Cove, Kawau Island. The camp is an outdoor facility to support NZ youth to experience challenges, in a safe environment and to assist youth become valuable members of society.
WHERE TO TAKE THE BEST SELFIE
- Mansion House garden (look for the pavilion)
- Against the backdrop of the coppermine
- Your boat trip to Kawau Island
Passionate locals ensuring the island culture and identity have a strong voice.
WHO TURNED UP AND NAMED THE PLACE?
- Kawau Island reflects the shag colonies. The island is almost split in two by Bon Accord Harbour, which opens towards the mainland, forming a fine natural anchorage. The island is hilly to steep with some relatively large flat to gently sloping areas, both elevated and in valleys. Sturdy walking shoes are recommended for all walks
WHAT KEEPS THE PLACE TICKING?
- Holiday home visitors, residents and day trippers
- A fabulous day trip from Auckland or from one of the plenty beachside communities north of Auckland.
TRAVEL PACK INFORMATION