Rotoroa is a small island just east of Waiheke, famous for its arts and heritage attractions. A beautiful oasis just 75 minutes ferry crossing from downtown Auckland, the island features an exhibition centre, sandy beaches, bush walks and a number of preserved buildings.
Once home to the Salvation Army's addiction recovery centre, the beautiful Rotoroa Island was privately run for over a century, until 2011, when it was opened to the public. Here, just an hour and 15 minutes from Auckland, you can stroll scenic bushland, sunbathe on one of four soft, sandy beaches, or explore the historic buildings in the centre of the settlement.
There's a jail, a school house, a church and a brand new, state of the art exhibition centre illustrating the history of the island and the story of the Salvation Army's addiction centre. Go walking and see if you can find the striking Chris Booth sculpture that's hiding out somewhere on the headland. Lose yourself in the natural silence of the Rotorua bush (but keep an eye out for the dozens of rare bird species who live here), or take a picnic to one of the many green areas and marvel at the views over Waiheke Island and the Coromandel Peninsula.
How To Get To There:
360 Discovery Cruises run regular ferries from Auckland, via Waiheke. Alternatively, you can charter your own water taxi or boat from various places in Auckland and Waiheke.