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Motutapu Island is popular for its historic and recreational value. Just a 30-minute ferry ride from Auckland, you can camp, explore or just relax on the island.


This is a Hauraki Gulf Treasure Island. Check you are pest-free before you visit.

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)

    More about visiting pest free islands

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Find things to do Motutapu Island Recreation Reserve

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      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.

      See transport options to this 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

      Motutapu Island.
      Motutapu Island

      • 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, otherwise there is nowhere to buy food.
      • Beware of wasps and sandflies.

      Looking after the island

      You can help ensure the long term success of keeping pests off this island and preventing reinvasion. Before you leave the mainland or travel between islands in the Hauraki Gulf:

      • Check your boat or kayak and gear for rats, mice, Argentine ants, rainbow skinks, soil and seeds. 
      • Clean footwear, clothing and gear of soil and seeds – weeds are a significant problem on the island.
      • Pack luggage and all food you are bringing to the island in pest-proof containers – not in open bags/boxes/containers or plastic bags.
      • Leave your dog and other pets at home – they pose a risk to the native species on this island.
      • Read the Treasure Islands biosecurity information.

      Other ways you can help look after Motutapu Island

      • Do not light fires. They can easily get out of control.
      • Take your rubbish off the island with you - observe DOC's 'Pack in - Pack Out' policy. There are no rubbish disposal facilities on Motutapu.
      • Do not move or disturb any plants or historic artefacts.
      • No firearms.
      • Take care on the beaches of Motutapu - take care not to disturb nesting birds from September to March.
      • No dogs - kiwi and takahe live on the island.
      • No bicycles.

      Non-compliance with these conditions may result in prosecution.

      Total fire ban on Hauraki Gulf islands

      There is a total fire ban on islands in the Hauraki Gulf. The exceptions are Waiheke, Great Barrier, Kawau and Rakino, if you have a permit. Check the Auckland Council website.

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