Tiritiri Matangi Island
Located in the Auckland region
IntroductionTiritiri Matangi is rich in Māori and European history with one of the most successful community-lead conservation projects in the world.
Unwanted predators have been eradicated and rare native birds such as the kōkako and the takahē (once thought to be extinct) survive and thrive in restored habitats within regenerating native forest.
The island is the perfect day trip destination for nature lovers and families.
Find things to do and places to stay Tiritiri Matangi Island
Tiritiri Matangi is renowned as one of the best places in New Zealand to spot rare and endangered native species.
Tūī, saddleback/tieke and bellbird/korimako are commonly seen in the bush along the Wattle Track between the wharf and lighthouse area, and you may also be able to see whitehead/popokatea, stitchbird/hihi, North Island robin/miromiro and, if you are lucky, kōkako. Another good place to spot birds is on the Kawerau Track - look out for the rifleman/titiponamu.
Other species you may see on the island include little penguin/kororā (check out the penguin boxes on the side of Hobbs Track), takahe and NZ parakeet/kakariki.
Tiritiri Matangi is a popular destination for boaties with Hobbs Beach providing a sheltered anchorage.
The best snorkelling on Tiritiri Matangi is on the eastern side of the island. Bring a snorkel and mask and head to Northeast Bay and snorkel out to Wooded Island. Or for somewhere closer to the wharf, head for the rocks off Hobbs Beach, or snorkel out to the small island a couple of hundred metres offshore.
Species you may see include:
- reef fish - parore, goatfish, snapper, leatherjackets, rock cod and eagle rays
- pelagic fish - herring, kahawai, and even the occasional kingfish
- other marine species - octopus, squid and colourful sponges
Kayaking to Tiritiri Matangi is an option for intermediate kayakers – the stretch of water between the island and the mainland can get rough and windy so this trip is not for beginners. The best place to start from is the Whangaparaoa Peninsula, from where it takes about 1 hour to get to Tiritiri Matangi.
Tiritiri Matangi is 4 km off the coast of Whangaparāoa Peninsula, north of Auckland.
Public ferry and charter
The public passenger ferry service by Explore Group runs most days, and can get booked up well in advance during November to April. From 15 December it will be running the summer peak timetable.
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.
Find authorised transport operators to this island.
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.
- There is no phone available for use on the island apart from in an emergency.
- Mobile 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 – generally open 11 am to 3 pm on days the ferry visits.
- Toilets at Tiritiri Matangi Wharf, Hobbs Beach and the lighthouse area.
- Rangers live on the island and can offer further information and emergency support.
- Smoking is restricted to the concrete area at the wharf and outside the visitor centre.
- Keep to the tracks so you don't disturb rare plants and birds, or scientific studies.
Conditions of visiting Tiritiri Matangi Island
If staying at the Tiritiri Matangi island bunkhouse, you must also bring the completed biosecurity checklist.
Rules for the Hauraki Gulf Maritime Park
- Fires and portable barbeques are not allowed except on the permanent barbeque provided onsite.
- Take your rubbish with you – there are no rubbish bins.
- Some activities such as weddings need a permit.
- No camping unless at a designated campsite.
These are part of the Hauraki Gulf Maritime Park by-laws. Read the full by-laws.
Tiritiri Matangi means "looking to the wind" or "wind tossing about". The island is officially called Tiritiri Matangi Scientific Reserve, and 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 as well as tuatara have been returned to its now-safe and restored habitats.
You can visit this open sanctuary, and see some of New Zealand's most endangered birds in the wild including takahē, kōkako, saddleback/tīeke and hihi/stitchbird.
This world renowned island sanctuary attracts more than 20,000 visitors annually.
The island is managed by DOC in partnership with Supporters of Tiritiri Matangi – a voluntary community group and major contributor to the success of Tiritiri Matangi as an open sanctuary.