Slow down with a day spent at the beach. Woody Bay Beach is a popular spot where sandy shores lap with clear waters. Grab a book and laze under the dappled shade of a pōhutukawa tree before heading up to Woody’s Pizzeria for some lunch. At low-tide, venture over the the rocks to West Bay, where kingfishers nest and small pools hide, waiting for you to take a dip.
Wander to Home Bay to admire the historic homes of former residents Sir George Grey and Albert Sanford. In the 1800s, Sir George Grey, Governer of New Zealand, purchased Rakino Island and built a home. Over the next century, the island was leased to Albert Sanford, one of the founders of the Auckland commercial fishing fleet, whose family residence still stands.
Meet the locals to hear more stories about the island’s unique history. In the 1960s, Rakino Island was bought by a nightclub-owning psychologist and hypnotherapist with big plans to build a clinic, an orphanage, a refuge for unmarried mothers, and homes for the elderly. His ideas didn’t eventuate and the land was subdivided by 1965, forming the basis of the community we see today.
Location Te wāhi
Rakino IslandPlan your route
Getting there Te huarahi ki reira
Catch a Belaire ferry from the downtown Auckland ferry terminal, docking at Sandy Bay, or take a car ferry from Half Moon Bay in east Auckland, docking at Home Bay. Ferries run a few times a week and the journey lasts between 45-60 minutes.
Local tip He tīwhiri mō te rohe
Woody’s Pizzeria offers delicious pizza over summer and on weekends. Otherwise, there are no shops or restaurants on the island, so come prepared with plenty of food and water.