Amazing 'mini-volcanic' island in the Hauraki Gulf, just 11km from Auckland CBD. Centuries-old campsites and Maori pa settlements still remain.
Browns Island (also called Motukorea), is one of the best preserved sites in the Auckland Volcanic Field. The Maori settled here centuries ago, and it's still possible to see the remains of their pa, dotted in and around the cones and craters.
The island was once used by a couple of European settlers as a free-rein pig farm in the mid-19th century, but the venture was shortlived. Paddleboat wrecks were also a regular sight here, from the days when the Devonport Steam Ferry Co. used to operate trips from Auckland.
Today, the island's main attractions are the volcanic features, the reef, the incredible cliffs and the mussel beds. You can hire a private boat to get here (there are no public ferries), but do bring your walking boots as the paths are hilly, steep and fit for only agile trampers.
Also be sure to take your own water, as there are no amenities on the island. Windsurfers might like to note that the run out here towards the Tamaki River, is considered a 'must-do' activity whilst in Auckland.
How To Get There:
Browns Island is only accessible via private hire boat - check out the charter companies in Auckland Harbour.