Tiritiri Matangi Island
Tirtiri Matangi Island is a picturesque wildlife sanctuary and conservation project in the Hauraki Gulf, 30 kilometres north of Auckland. See New Zealand's oldest working lighthouse, plus dozens of species of birds and trees.
Tiritiri Matangi Island is a real New Zealand success story. Volunteers planted the first trees onto this previously barren landscape, in 1984. Since then, the island has thrived and become home to a cornucopia of rare birds and plants.
On the island, you can take a guided walk to find kokakos, North Island robins, saddlebacks, whiteheads and a host of other feathered friends. Takahe, in particular, have bred very well here. So much so, that some birds have been returned to their original home in the Murchison Mountains.
The dense pohutukawa forest is the perfect habitat for these creatures, and you'll have great fun in the visitor centre, learning all about the creation of this amazing wildlife sanctuary and conservation area. You can even go have a look inside the penguin nesting boxes, or perhaps investigate the country's oldest working lighthouse, standing proud on the hill.
Hop one of the ferries from Whangaparoa (5 miles west of the island), or maybe make a day of it and relax on one of the boats leaving from Auckland's main downtown ferry terminal. However you decide to get here, it'll be a day to remember, on one of the Hauraki Gulf's most beautiful, nature-rich islands.
How To Get To There:
Ferries run all year round from the downtown terminal in Auckland (30km), or the Gulf Harbour Marina at the end of the Whangaparoa Peninsula (5km). Private vessels can also arrive on the island via Hobbs Beach, or the Wharf.