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At 178 million years old pest-free Motutapu is one of the oldest land masses in the Hauraki Gulf. The island has lived an exciting life – it was intensively settled by Maori, it hosted massive Victorian picnic parties, and was a base during WWll.


Now, following the world's largest island pest eradication programme, it's a fine place to see native birds including the rare and beautiful tieke.

There are multiple walking tracks. If you're feeling up for an adventure, head across to neighbouring Rangitoto, thanks to the short causeway established during WWll that connects the islands.


Place overview


  • Bird and wildlife watching
  • Boating
  • Camping
  • Fishing
  • Kayaking and canoeing
  • Swimming
  • Walking and tramping
  • 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 Motutapu Island

About track difficulties

    About this place

    Getting there

    Motutapu Island.
    Motutapu is a Treasure Island

    Motutapu Island is directly behind Rangitoto Island in Auckland's Hauraki Gulf and joined to it by a causeway.

    Access to Motutapu is by public passenger ferry, charter boat, charter boat, private boat, or kayak.

    There is a wharf at Home Bay. Rangitoto's Islington Bay Wharf is also near the island's western end.

    Public passenger ferry and private charter

    Ferry service is limited. The public passenger ferry operators that travel to this island only maintain a limited service.

    If you are chartering a commercial vessel to the island, check the operator has a Pest-Free Warrant. Commercial vessels that use the wharf will also need a wharf landing permit.

    Find boat services to Motutapu Island.

    Private boat

    Safe anchorages for private boats include Islington Bay (Rangitoto) and Home Bay on Motutapu.


    Motutapu Island is accessible to very experienced kayakers. It takes approximately three hours to kayak to Home Bay from Mission Bay. Several kayak operators offer kayak rentals and guided kayak tours to Motutapu. See the Commercial Operators section.

    Know before you go

    • There is no public transport on the island.
    • There are no shops on the island. The Reid Homestead at Home Bay may open at times and has drinks and food available.
    • Take care on the beaches of Motutapu. Do not to disturb nesting birds from September to March.
    • Beware of wasps and sandflies.

    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.


    Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland Visitor Centre
    Phone:   +64 9 379 6476
    Address:   137 Quay Street
    Princes Wharf
    Auckland 1010
    Full office details
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