DOC manages some of New Zealand's offshore islands and you can visit many of them.

What we look after

DOC is responsible for around 220 larger offshore islands, and hundreds of smaller islands and rock stacks.

Our offshore islands include:

  • 21 island groups eg Poor Knights group (Northland), Mercury Islands (east of Coromandel Peninsula), Chetwode Islands (Marlborough Sounds), Auckland Islands (subantarctic islands).
  • 11 islands that are partly reserve eg D'Urville Island, Kapiti Island, Great Barrier Island.
  • 8 inland freshwater island reserves (eg Mou Tapu and Mou Waho Islands in Lake Wanaka).

42% of our offshore islands are nature reserves because of their outstanding biological values. A permit is required to visit these islands.

Map showing principal offshore islands.
Map of offshore islands

More on New Zealand's offshore islands

Restoration projects on offshore islands

Some of the islands where you are free to visit and participate in projects are:


  • Urupukapuka, which is part of Project Island Song in the Bay of Islands

Hauraki Gulf Marine Park


Marlborough Sounds

  • Motuara

Stewart Island

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