Located in the Northland region
There is good beach access to the centre of the island and a DOC walking track to a prominent pā site caters for large number of day visitors. In the summer months interpretation is installed in the lagoon for an underwater snorkel trail.
The island is within Te Pewhairangi (Bay of Islands) Marine Mammal Sanctuary. There are restrictions for activities such as swimming, snorkelling and diving.
It's also next to a marine mammal safe zone, which is in the channel between Motuarohia and Moturua Island. This area has specific restrictions for vessel.
Motuarohia Island Recreation Reserve is situated in the eastern part of Te Pēwhairangi (Bay of Islands) Marine Mammal Sanctuary. There are restrictions you need to follow while travelling in Te Pēwhairangi (Bay of Islands) Marine Mammal Sanctuary.
Once out on the water from Paihia or Russell, the first island you see is Motuarohia Island, distinguished by its two glorious lagoons – the most photographed scene in the Bay.
The channel between Motuarohia Island and Moturua Island is a marine mammal safe zone.
The reserve is part of the Bay of Islands Maritime and Historic Park.
This reserve is within Te Pēwhairangi (Bay of Islands) Marine Mammal Sanctuary.
In 1979, the central section of the island came under the care of the Department of Conservation.
The island is now pest free, thanks to Project Island Song. As part of an ongoing restoration of the island, whitehead/popokotea have been released. These 'canaries of the forest' can be heard and occasionally seen across Motuarohia. Other conservation work includes looking after resident North Island brown kiwi and NZ dotterel nest protection during the breeding season.
The topography of Motuarohia ranges from steep coastal cliffs which face the open sea to the north and west, with headlands dissected by moderately steep gullies on its southern side. Flat lat surrounds a lagoon area on the southern side of Motuarohia.
There are kikuyu grass flats, kanuka/native shrub hardwood forest and extensive stands of maritime pine (Pinus pinaster) with a regenerating understorey of native shrub hardwoods which are mainly hangehange and coprosoma spp. Coastal cliff communities are extensive with pohutukawa and the coastal tussock (Chionachloa bromoides). Stands of maritime pine were originally grown for the extraction of turpentine.
Extensive planting of native coastal species has resulted in native forest regeneration in areas of felled to waste pine forest on the western end of the island.
There are permanent residents on the island in at least one of the 9 dwellings on private land, and there are multiple ancillary buildings.
Public conservation land: Motuarohia Island Recreation Reserve 19.488 ha
Private land: 43.914 ha
Total Area: 63.402
Learn more about the History of Motuarohia Island Recreation Reserve.