Urupukapuka Island

Image: tjrehmann | Creative Commons


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


  • Bird and wildlife watching
  • Diving and snorkelling
  • Walking and tramping


In this section

Find things to do and places to stay Urupukapuka Island Recreation Reserve

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, natural regeneration and breeding area for brown teal/pāteke and NZ dotterel.

As part of the on-going restoration of Urupukapuka, Project Island Song has successfully released North Island robin/toutouwai, North Island saddleback/tīeke and whitehead/pōpokotea on the island. Keep an ear and eye open for these rare birds when visiting.

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

Getting there

Getting to Urupukapuka Island

Water taxis run on demand year round (weather permitting). The Paihia i-SITE takes bookings for boat transportation to the island.

Passenger ferries go from Paihia and Russell to Otehei Bay every day in the peak summer season.

Private boats can leave from boat ramps in the Eastern Bay of Islands:

  • 30 minutes from Waitangi boat ramp on Te Karuwha Parade
  • 15 minutes from Te Uenga Bay beach ramp on Russell Road
  • 10 minutes from Kaimarama Bay boat ramp at the end of Rawhiti Road
  • 45 minutes from Opito Bay and Doves Bay


Pewhairangi / Bay of Islands Office
Phone:   +64 9 407 0300
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Email:   bayofislandsbooking@doc.govt.nz
Address:   34 Landing Road
Kerikeri 0230
Postal Address:   PO Box 128
Kerikeri 0245
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