Enjoying the view from Kawau Island
Image: Christine Cumiskey | DOC

Read details...


Visit Kawau Island, former home to Sir George Grey, who developed the stately Mansion House and its exotic gardens. The house, gardens and tracks on the reserve are open to the public.


Visit Mansion House and the surrounding exotic gardens, and explore remnants of the historic mining sites. Mansion House closes each winter from 1 June to 31 July inclusive, so you cannot visit during this time.

Place overview


  • Picnicking
  • Swimming
  • Walking and tramping


  • Picnic tables
  • Pest free
    Protect our wildlife
    • Check - your gear for pests, eg. rodents, insects, skinks
    • Clean - footwear and gear, removing soil and seeds
    • Seal - ensure your gear is zipped up (no open bags)

    See island biosecurity requirements.

In this section

Find things to do Kawau Island Historic Reserve

About track difficulties

Heritage sightseeing

The iconic Mansion House is the former home of Sir George Grey. There is an impressive collective of antique furnishings and it is open to the public daily.

Remnants of the copper mining industry can be explored using the network of tracks through the Kawau Island Historic Reserve.


Surrounding the house and extending up the valley are exotic gardens established by Sir George Grey. The gardens make a perfect place to relax with a picnic.


Coastal, garden and exotic forest walks.

Weddings and other events

Mansion House Bay is a venue for holding weddings or other events.

Sort: A-Z | Popular first

    About this place

    Getting there

    The island is easily accessed by private boats, with a choice of safe anchorages in and close to Mansion House Bay.

    Water taxis and ferries travel to Kawau Island daily from Sandspit Wharf near Warkworth, about one and a half hour's drive north of Auckland.

    Find boat services to Kawau Island.

    Know before you go

    Hauraki Gulf Maritime Park bylaws apply. Do not light fires, or remove/disturb plants and artefacts. No bicycles or pets. Take your rubbish with you – there are no rubbish bins.

    Some activities require a permit, such as weddings and events.

    Visiting Mansion House

    Mansion House exterior.
    Mansion House

    Opening hours

    • Monday to Friday 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm
    • Saturday, Sunday and public holidays 12:00 noon to 3:30 pm
    • Closed Christmas Day, and in winter from 1 June to 31 July inclusive

    Group booking

    Contact the ranger at least 7 days before you plan to visit:

    Email: kawauisland@doc.govt.nz
    Phone: +64 9 422 8882

    You can also make group bookings online.

    Between 1 June and 31 July, the house may be opened by prior arrangement, for groups of 10 or more.

    Fees for visiting Mansion House

    • Adults $4
    • Children (5–15 years) $2
    • Under 5 free

    Children must be accompanied by an adult. Note that there are no eftpos or credit card facilities at Mansion House.


    The Mansion House Cafe is open daily during holiday periods and weekends between Labour weekend (late October) and Queen's Birthday weekend (June). Check opening times by calling the cafe: phone +64 9 422 8903, or Mansion House: phone +64 9 422 8882.


    Picnic on the reserve, or at the outdoor tables in Mansion House Valley and strategic points in the reserve.


    Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland Office
    Phone:   +64 9 307 9279
    Address:   Ground Floor - Building 2
    Carlaw Park Commercial
    12-16 Nicholls Lane
    Email:   auckland@doc.govt.nz
    Full office details
    Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland Visitor Centre
    Phone:   +64 9 379 6476
    Address:   137 Quay Street
    Princes Wharf
    Auckland 1010
    Email:   aucklandvc@doc.govt.nz
    Full office details
    Back to top