Motutapu Island longer walks

Track category

Walking track


Track times are indicative only. Please ensure you have plenty of time to complete your walk and catch the ferry. 

Pohutukawa Track

Northern Junction to Billy Goat Point

Looking down over Home Bay, Motutapu Island.
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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Getting there

View across Rangitoto Island to Motutapu Island.
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 your 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 – 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.
  • Read the Treasure Islands biosecurity information.

Related links


Find out more


DOC maps: Discover the outdoors - DOC's key places, campsites, tracks and huts, and visitor centres on a map


Follow the Outdoor Safety Code:
1. Plan your trip
2. Tell someone
3. Be aware of the weather
4. Know your limits
5. Take sufficient supplies

Alerts for Auckland places


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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