Located in the Northland region
Waewaetorea Island is located in the Bay of Islands. Access is by boat only.
The area north of Waewaetorea Island is a designated rest area for dolphins. Stay away from dolphins and keep marine mammals safe.
The island became part of the Maritime and Historic Park in 1980 and today it is under the care of the Department of Conservation.
Conservation work includes pest eradication as part of Project Island Song and a revegetation programme.
Prehistoric Māori thrived in this island environment, which is seen in the density of archaeological sites. Sites on this island are characterised as headland pa, terraces, gardening lines and storage pits.
An historic account of Waewaetorea is found in the records of French explorer Marion du Fresne’s expedition to the Bay of Islands in 1772. The French "Plan du Port Marion" tell us that Wawaetorea was where the two ships “Castries and "Mascarin" first anchored.
There are two headland pa worth visiting on this island. The southern one is to the right of Otawake Beach - you can see its deep defensive ditch. You can walk onto the other headland pa near the Orurua blowhole.
The Story of the Bay of Islands Maritime and Historic Park 1989. Department of Conservation.
Read about the history, fabric and cultural aspects of Waewaetorea Island, an actively managed historic site, as well as management recommendations.
Trace our heritage back through the large collection of Māori sites we manage.
Visit farming heritage sites that illustrate the importance of agriculture in New Zealand since the arrival of European settlers.
Auckland and parts of the Waikato are at Level 3. DOC huts and campsites are closed in these regions. The rest of New Zealand is at Level 2.