Motutapu Island longer walks
Track times are indicative only. Please ensure you have plenty of time to complete your walk and catch the ferry.
Northern Junction to Billy Goat Point
Looking down over Home Bay, Motutapu Island
Time: 1 hr 20 min one way
Distance: 3.3 km
Northern Junction to Sandy Bay
Time: 35 min one way
Distance: 1.1 km
Sandy Bay to Billy Goat Point
Time: 45 min one way
Distance: 2.2 km
The track passes the three WWII gun emplacements which were once home to the six-inch gun battery. Take a torch and explore the tunnels.
The track dips down close to Sandy Bay before climbing along the ridge to Billy Goat Point. Both young and mature pohutukawa can be seen.
Motutapu Outdoor Education Camp – Islington Bay track
Time: 1 hr 30 min one way
Distance: 5.2 km
The track from Administration Bay is accessed by the coastal track from Sandy Bay, off the Pohutukawa track. It passes near Motutapu Outdoor Education Camp. Please note that the camp is out of bounds for the public.
From Administration Bay the track clings to the coast to Pig Bay before moving inland across pasture passing several WWII bunkers and magazines. The track joins one of the arterial roads which walkers follow to Islington Bay.
Motutapu Loop track
Time: 4 hr 30 min
Distance: 12.2 km
A round trip walk through the volunteer’s forest, Northern Junction, the gun emplacements, Sandy Bay, Administration Bay, Causeway and return to Home Bay (or vice versa).
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View across Rangitoto Island to Motutapu Island
Access to Motutapu is by private boat, ferry or kayak.
A number of private ferry operators run trips to Home Bay Wharf on Motutapu Island in the summer months. Alternatively you can catch a ferry year round to Islington Bay Wharf on Rangitoto Island. Check with the Auckland Visitor Centre for details.
Safe anchorages for private boats include Wharf Bay, Ocean Beach and Calypso Bay.
Motutapu Island is accessible to experienced kayakers. It takes approximately three hours to kayak to Home Bay. Several kayak operators offer kayak rentals and guided kayak tours to Motutapu. Contact the Auckland Visitor Centre for more information.
Transport on the island
There is no public transport on the island. Please note that bicycles are not permitted on Motutapu.
Plan and prepare
- Bring water with you - drinking water is not readily available on the island.
- A torch is essential if you want to explore the tunnels and military sites.
- Bring a sunhat and sunscreen
Motutapu is now pest free - 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, please:
- Check your boat or kayak and gear for rats and mice, Argentine ants, rainbow skinks, soil and seeds.
- Clean footwear, clothing and gear of soil and and seeds – weeds are a problem on the island.
- Pack luggage and all food you are bringing to the island in rodent-proof containers – no open bags/boxes/containers or plastic bags please.
- Leave your dog or other domestic pets at home – dogs pose a risk to the native species on this island.
- View the biosecurity information brochure for visitors to the Hauraki Gulf (PDF, 389K)
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