More info He pārongo atu anōVisit website
Motuihe Island is an island sanctuary for humans and wildlife alike, complete with sandy beaches, pristine waters, and plenty of walking tracks to explore. Home to a range of native species, including the little spotted kiwi, saddleback, and tuatara, you’ll have the opportunity to spot rare and endangered animals thriving in nature. Ensure you check, clean, and close your gear to protect the ecosystem for generations to come.
Clear waters, sheltered bays, and basic facilities make the island an ideal destination for a weekend away. Wander along the coastline to discover sandy beaches and fascinating rock pools, or head inland towards restored native bush. A favourite trail for bird-spotting is the Tieke Track. Starting at the wharf or other beaches around the island via marked tracks, it stretches five kilometres through ancient forest. Spot a wide variety of birds including the rare saddleback/tieke before stopping to rest at a seat overlooking a geologically significant pancake limestone formation.
There are several other walks to explore, including the Headland Heritage Walk, which starts at the Motuihe Island campsite. Heading north, the road passes historic olive trees planted in the 1860s and offers sweeping views of the Hauraki Gulf, finishing at a 1918 Spanish Flu cemetery.
To make the most of the stunning beaches, opt for the Eastern Beaches Track, which provides access to Ocean Beach, Snapper Bay, and Calypso Bay, plus views over Ohinerau Bay. Go for a dip in the ocean or fish off the rocks before heading back to Motuihe Island campsite for a night by the sea. This DOC-managed campground with basic facilities can be booked online via the DOC website. Over summer, a kiosk operates selling coffee, tea, water, ice-creams and some apparel. Listen out for the call of the little spotted kiwi at dusk. If you’re lucky, you may even catch a glimpse.
Location Te wāhi
Motuihe IslandPlan your route
Getting there Te huarahi ki reira
Hop on a 45-minute Redboats ferry from Westhaven, a water taxi with Auckland Sea Shuttles, or charter a private boat with Dreamweaver Charters. Experienced kayakers can also get there in about two-and-a-half hours.
Local tip He tīwhiri mō te rohe
Bring your own food and water, as there are no shops on the island. A kiosk is open during summer selling refreshments and ice cream.