Overview

Experience this amazing Hauraki Gulf wildlife sanctuary, home to all sorts of endangered native species including kiwi, tīeke, takahē, pāteke and skinks. You can visit the award-winning museum and exhibition, go for a day trip and a walk through stunning conservation land.

  • Walking tracks - Take in the island's rugged coastline, sandy beaches and regenerating forest. Visit the seven-metre high sculpture by New Zealand artist, Chris Booth, on the island’s southern headland. Walk to the North or South Tower for amazing views of the Hauraki Gulf, or go for a short walk to Ladies Bay and relax on the sandy beach with a picnic or BBQ. The majority of walking tracks on the island are accessible by most people with reasonable fitness.
  • Guided Walks -  Explore Rotoroa Island with a guided walk by the Rotoroa Rangers. Your guide will lead you as you walk among the regenerating native forest, with plenty of wildlife, lookout points and beaches along the way. Learn more about the guided walks.
  • Museum and Exhibition Centre - A state-of-the-art visitor centre and museum now showcases the island’s fascinating history from its Maori and early European history through to its many years in private isolation as New Zealand’s first and longest-running addiction treatment centre.
  • Historical Buildings - Get a glimpse into what life on the island used to be like by visiting heritage buildings including a chapel, schoolhouse and jailhouse.
  • Birdlife - A number of endangered birds have been introduced onto the island including takahe, whitehead, saddleback, pateke ducks and kiwi. Kiwi chicks were first released in 2014, and since, more than 30 kiwi have enjoyed Rotoroa's predator-free haven. Rotoroa welcomes visitors for special release events, as the island trust regularly introduces.
  • Native forest - Thanks to the efforts of Rotoroa Island Trust and volunteers, the island has gone through a substantial transformation since 2008. The planting of 400,000 native trees and shrubs have helped regenerate the island, as it was once covered in 20,000 wilding pines.

What do I need?

  • Plenty of water, snacks and lunch, as there are no food outlets on the island.
  • Good walking shoes, sun block and a sun hat.
  • Swimming gear and a towel in the warmer months.
  • A light rain jacket, and warm layers. Temperatures can change quickly, regardless of the season.
  • There are no rubbish bins on pest-free islands. Please remember to take all your rubbish, including leftover food, off the island with you.

How long should I stay?

This is a full-day activity due to the ferry timetable and travel time to the island from downtown Auckland. Bookings are recommended. For ferry timetables click here.

Important pest free info

  • Please check your bags for stowaways, such as mice, rats, Argentine ants and Rainbow Skinks to name a few.
  • Ensure your footwear, clothing and bags are clean and free of soil and seeds.
  • Your lunch must be packed in a rodent-proof/ sealed container e.g. hard plastic.
  • No open bags or boxes will be allowed on-board. Everything you bring must be sealed or zipped closed.

Read more before you visit a pest-free island here

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