Motutapu Island is a natural island in the Hauraki Gulf, 11km from Auckland. Walks, war relics and a campground plus amazing natural scenery await you in this conservation wonderland.
Meaning 'Sacred Island', Motutapu is a peaceful, rural island with plenty of walking tracks, fantastic views across the Hauraki Gulf, and even some World War II artillery relics to go and discover along the way.
The island was an integral part of mainland Auckland's defence system during the war, so visiting the guns, bunkers and tunnels really does bring that part of history alive. Motutapu is also now part of a long-term conservation project. It's pest-free (check your bags for creepy-crawly stowaways before you get on the ferry...), providing valuable sanctuary for endangered wildlife.
If you like walking, there are numerous tracks to explore. Get yourself over to Sunde Site, where you can see the ash-preserved footprints of former visitors, and their canine companions, from hundreds of years ago and campers can pitch their tents at Home Bay, where you can also find drinking water.
There are no shops on the island, so be sure to bring your lunch with you! Bunks and lodges can be booked at Administration Bay. The island is so close to neighbouring Rangitoto Island, there's a causeway you can walk across, from one island to the other!
How To Get To There:
Boats run from Auckland to Islington Bay on Rangitoto Island, from where visitors can walk across the causeway to Mohutapu Island. The ferry crossing takes 35 minutes and leaves from the ferry terminal on Quay Street in downtown Auckland.