Experience this Hauraki Gulf wildlife sanctuary, home to endangered native species including kiwi, tīeke, takahē, pāteke and skinks
Rotoroa was closed to the public for more than 100 years, as home to NZ’s first addiction treatment centre. Rotoroa maintains historical buildings and exhibitions showcasing the island’s fascinating history. For a truly unique experience, you can even stay the night at the island’s boutique hostel or in a vintage holiday home.
Where is it?
Rotoroa Island is nestled among a chain of islets off Waiheke’s east coast – a 75-minute ferry ride for your guests from the Downtown Auckland ferry terminal.
What can my guests do?
Walking tracks – Take in the island’s rugged coastline, sandy beaches and regenerating forest. Visit the seven-metre high sculpture by New Zealand artist, Chris Booth, on the island’s southern headland. Walk to the North or South Tower for amazing views of the Hauraki Gulf, or go for a short walk to Ladies Bay and relax on the sandy beach with a picnic or BBQ. The majority of walking tracks on the island are accessible by most people with reasonable fitness.
Guided Walks – Explore Rotoroa Island with a guided walk by the Rotoroa Rangers. Your guide will lead you as you walk among the regenerating native forest, with plenty of wildlife, lookout points and beaches along the way. Learn more about the guided walks.
Museum and Exhibition Centre – A state-of-the-art visitor centre and museum now showcases the island’s fascinating history from its Maori and early European history through to its many years in private isolation as New Zealand’s first and longest-running addiction treatment centre.
Historical Buildings – Get a glimpse into what life on the island used to be like by visiting heritage buildings including a chapel, schoolhouse and jailhouse.
Birdlife – A number of endangered birds have been introduced onto the island including takahe, whitehead, saddleback, pateke ducks and kiwi. Kiwi chicks were first released in 2014, and since, more than 30 kiwi have enjoyed Rotoroa’s predator-free haven. Rotoroa welcomes visitors for special release events, as the island trust regularly introduces.
Native forest – Thanks to the efforts of Rotoroa Island Trust and volunteers, the island has gone through a substantial transformation since 2008. The planting of 400,000 native trees and shrubs have helped regenerate the island, as it was once covered in 20,000 wilding pines.
Accommodation – Rotoroa Island has three self-contained Qualmark 4-star rated boutique holiday homes, as well as a backpacker style hostel. All of the accommodation is renovated and styled in vibrant, vintage decor reminiscent of the island’s history.