More info He pārongo atu anōVisit website
Today, Motutapu Island is an idyllic wildlife sanctuary where native forest and endemic species are flourishing following the world’s largest island pest eradication programme. Ensure you check, clean, and close your gear to preserve its unique ecosystem.
‘Motutapu’, meaning ‘sacred island’, was named for its spiritual significance to its Māori residents. Choose from over 300 archaelogical sites to explore, including pā sites, storage pits, and stone-working sites. In the 1800s, European settlers arrived, cultivating farmland. Visit their last remaining homestead at Home Bay, built in 1901.
Motutapu Island was a pivotal base during World War II, housing military barracks, underground ammunition stores, and observation posts. Delve into wartime history by visiting concrete emplacements, underground structures, and the former military barracks at Administration Bay, now used as an Outdoor Education Camp.
Explore a network of walking trails winding through regenerating native forests and historic sites, such as the Motutapu Walkway, a 60-90 minute hike starting from Home Bay and finishing at a causeway linking Motutapu Island to Rangitoto Island.
The island's beaches are perfect for swimming, and there are several secluded coves that are only accessible by boat. Hire a kayak from the mainland, which could also be your route over if you’re experienced, or take a guided fishing tour to explore the island's bays and catch some dinner.
For a night under the stars, there’s an idyllic DOC camping ground right by the beach at Home Bay. Book online to secure your spot and make sure you come prepared with all the essentials you need.
Location Te wāhi
Motutapu IslandPlan your route
Getting there Te huarahi ki reira
Hop on a Fullers360 ferry from Auckland's downtown waterfront and enjoy a 35-minute scenic ride to this stunning island paradise.
Local tip He tīwhiri mō te rohe
Look out for tunnels and bunkers hidden across the island; remnants of preparation for a potential invasion in the 1940s.