Kawau Island & Kawau Island ferry

Hauraki Gulf and Islands

Map of Kawau Island | Hauraki Gulf Islands, Auckland
Kawau Island ferry | Ferry to Hauraki Gulf Islands
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Visit tranquil Kawau Island, known for its crystal-clear waters and sheltered bays. Discover the island’s fascinating history, from the magnificent 19th century mansion to the remnants of the early copper mine. Take a walk to enjoy the beautiful scenery or hop on a cruise and go exploring.

Kawau Island highlights

Exotic wildlife on Kawau Island | Hauraki Gulf Islands, Auckland

​Top picks

Marvel at the mansion
Visit Governor Grey’s fully restored historical Mansion House and see the many artefacts collected during his travels. Walk through the home that beautiful Mansion House Bay is named for. 

Get a taste of the tropical 
Wander through the elegant tropical gardens behind Mansion House and keep an eye out for weka, wallabies and peacocks. See the exotic plants and animals Governor Grey introduced to the island in the 1800s.

Walk by the water 
Take the round-trip Miners Track from the wharf and along the foreshore to the old copper mine. Kawau was one of the earliest mining ventures in New Zealand, beginning in 1844.

Hit cruise control
Join a cruise to explore the island’s beautiful bays and keep an eye out for dolphins. Enjoy the picturesque scenery, see historical landmarks and learn about the island’s history as you go. 

Catch your own
Charter a boat and anchor at one of the calm bays for a spot of fishing. The clear waters are great for catching snapper, kingfish, kahawai and John Dory.

Stroll on the beach at Kawau Island, Auckland | Hauraki Gulf Islands

Why visit?

​Kawau Island is one of the largest islands in the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park, but with only a small permanent population it’s a peaceful escape. The crystal-clear waters of Kawau are a paradise for fishing and sailing and there are many sheltered anchorages for boaties.

Explore the island’s historical sites on one of the relaxing walks and see the remnants of Kawau’s early copper mining. Don’t miss walking through the stately Mansion House and stop off at the small café, open weekends and holiday periods. Ferries, water taxis and cruises depart from Sandspit near Warkworth.

​History

In 1862, Kawau was bought as a private residence by the controversial and influential politician Sir George Grey. Grey was an avid collector of animals and plants and is responsible for the eclectic collection of species on the island, including wallabies and peacocks, both of which are still there today. His beautiful Mansion House, with its extensive tropical garden, is one of the island’s main draw cards and a must for visitors. 

Kawau was one of the earliest mining ventures in New Zealand, with copper being mined from 1844 until 1852. You can see remnants of the copper mining days, such as the sandstone engine house at Mine Point and the ruins of the old smelting house in the reserve in Bon Accord Harbour. The round-trip from the wharf to the copper mine takes approximately 2 ½ hours.

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