October 07 2018


Guided Walk: Historic Motuihe Island

Since the 1870s Motuihe Island in the Waitemata Harbour has been a quarantine station, children's health camp, internment and prisoner of war camp, naval training base and farm. It is now a recreation reserve being restored with indigenous flora and fauna.

The island's most colourful inhabitant was Count Felix von Luckner, a German imprisoned on Motuihe in the First World War. He made a daring escape by stealing the commandant's boat, was recaptured and returned to Motuihe in 1918. He was a great storyteller, later returning to New Zealand and contacting some of his captors. He has been nicknamed “gentleman pirate”.

Visit Motuihe for the Day

  • Take a guided tour of the historical sites with pictorial displays
  • See how the internees lived and how von Luckner managed to escape
  • Bring your picnic lunch and in the afternoon explore the beautiful beaches
    See the island restoration and planting
    See where tuatara, kiwi and saddlebacks live in the wild, close to Auckland's CBD
  • Please note that dogs are not allowed on Motuihe.

Over 400,000 trees have been planted by volunteers in recent years, and kiwi, saddleback, bellbirds and tuatara, skinks and geckos are among the creatures returned to the island now pests have been eradicated.


Duration: 1 Day

FERRY: Adult $35* Child $18*
* Departs Auckland Ferry Terminal at 9.15am (9.25am ex Devonport).
   Departs Motuihe Island at 3.15pm


Motuihe Island

Motuihe Island