Nature and conservation
A Treasure Island that is pest-free
Tiritiri Matangi ("looking to the wind" or "wind tossing about") is one of the most successful conservation projects in the world. Unwanted predators have been eradicated, and the once-pastoral island has been replanted with native trees. Rare native birds and animals have been returned to its now-safe and restored habitats.
As an open sanctuary you can visit Tiritiri Matangi and see some of New Zealand's most endangered birds in the wild, including takahē, kōkako, saddleback/tīeke and hihi or stitchbird.
Tiritiri Matangi is a world renowned island sanctuary that attracts more than 20,000 visitors annually.
Takahe and other natives are safe from pests
Managed by the Department of Conservation in partnership with Supporters of Tiritiri Matangi the island has the status of an open sanctuary. This allows the public to visit and enjoy the natural splendour of rapidly regenerating native forest and ever increasing birdsong.
Since 1984, around 300,000 native trees have been planted allowing the reintroduction of threatened native bird specials as well as tuatara, New Zealand’s living dinosaur.
The Supporters of Tiritiri Matangi, a voluntary community group, is a major contributor to the success of Tiritiri Matangi as an open sanctuary. Thousands of people have volunteered their labour or donated money to the project.
Over 280,000 trees were planted by volunteers on Tiritiri Matangi between 1984 and 1994. Most replanted areas are now well established and volunteer work has shifted to tasks like providing guided tours, maintaining facilities, conserving historic features and financial support.
The Supporters opened a new visitor centre on the island in 2005, which they funded. This will showcase information about Tiritiri Matangi and also houses a shop and office.
Tiritiri Matangi is 4 km off the coast of Whangaparaoa Peninsula, north of Auckland.
Public ferry and charter
There is a ferry service most days
The public passenger ferry service runs most days, and can get booked up well in advance during November to April.
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.
Private boat or kayak
Private boats and kayaks can also visit the island. The best landing is at Hobbs Beach on the western side of the island, where there is good swimming and snorkelling.
Know before you go
- There is no phone available for use on the island apart from in an emergency.
- Cell phone coverage is good on the grass outside the bunkhouse.
- There is no food for sale on the island.
- There is a Visitor Centre and shop at the top of the hill near the lighthouse. Gifts and cold drinks only are available from the shop. The shop is generally open from 11 am to 3 pm on the days the ferry visits the island
- Toilets at Tiritiri Matangi Wharf, Hobbs Beach and the lighthouse area.
- Rangers live on the island and can offer further information and emergency support.
Clean and check your gear before travelling
Conditions of visiting Tiritiri Matangi Island
If staying overnight you must also bring the completed biosecurity checklist. Find out more about staying in the Tiritiri Matangi Island bunkhouse.
Tiritiri Matangi Island is pest-free - help keep it this way.
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.
While on the island
- Keep to the tracks so you don't disturb rare plants and birds, or scientific studies being carried out on the island.
- Do not feed the wildlife on the island.
- Do not take samples of any plants or wildlife.
- Do not play any bird call tapes or other devices to lure birds.
- Do not smoke on the island, except on the concrete area at the wharf and outside the Visitor Centre.
- Do not light fires or use barbecues - fires can easily get out of control and could devastate the island's habitats.
- Do not camp anywhere on the island.
- Take your rubbish off the island with you.
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.