Urupukapuka Island
PHOTO: tjrehmann | Creative Commons

Read details...


Of significant historic and cultural importance, pest-free Urupukapuka Island is also a great place to relax or for water sports at one of the many beaches.


Place overview


  • Camping
  • Diving and snorkelling
  • 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 and places to stay Urupukapuka Island Recreation Reserve

About track difficulties

Exploring the islands

You can base yourself at Urupukapuka to explore the surrounding islands. There are three campsites you can stay at.

Visit the Project Island Song centre in Otehei Bay to learn more about island restoration and how you can help keep the island rat-free. Otehei Bay also has an open-air restaurant.

Water activities

Urupukapuka Island is a great place for relaxing, fishing, snorkelling, sea-kayaking, swimming and all types of water sports.

Sort: A-Z | Popular first

    About this place

    Nature and conservation


    The island’s topography is the most varied of the islands in Ipipiri and ranges from flat areas behind the major bays (Entico, Otehei, Urupukapuka) and rises to moderately steep slopes and coastal cliffs on the island’s eastern side.


    The main vegetation type is manuka/kanuka shrubland and extensive kikuyu grasslands are features of northern and southern areas of Urupukapuka. A spectacular pohutukawa forest occupies the coastal fringe and pohutukawa are a highlight of the island's vegetation. There is a significant wetland habitat created in the 1980s as a wildlife habitat with baumea sp. and raupo reed land.


    Urupukapuka has significant restoration potential with its range of habitats and current natural regeneration and it is a breeding area for brown teal/pāteke and NZ dotterel.

    Grazing occurs on approximately a third of the island in order to maintain open space and vegetation on archaeological sites.

    Getting there

    Urupukapuka is the largest of seven islands in the eastern Bay of Islands on Northland's east coast, approx. 230 km north of Auckland. 

    Access is by boat only.

    Tours of the bay run daily, and visitors can purchase a ride to Urupukapuka Island. Water taxis are also available from Paihia and Russell. There may be a regular ferry service during the summer months. Contact the Paihia i-SITE or Russell Bookings and Information Centre. 

    Know before you go

    Urupukapuka campsites

    Camping is only available on Urupukapuka Island. There are three campsites.

    • Camp host is on-site from 22 December to 20 January each season.
    • No cooking facilities – use liquid or LPG only.
    • Mobile coverage is available on Urupukapuka Island.
    • During the summer, a rubbish barge may visit Urupukapuka Island.
    • Showers available at Cable Bay and Urupukapuka Bay, but not Sunset Bay campsite.


    Pewhairangi / Bay of Islands Office
    Phone:   +64 9 407 0300
    Address:   34 Landing Road
    Kerikeri 0230
    Email:   bayofislandsbooking@doc.govt.nz
    Full office details
    Back to top