About Rotoroa Island
An Island Apart
Rotoroa Island is a unique arts, heritage and conservation island nestled among a chain of islets off Waiheke’s east coast only a 75 minute ferry ride away from downtown Auckland.
For over 100 years, the island was an island apart, off limits to all but a few souls isolated there for alcohol and drug rehabilitation in the care of the Salvation Army. Today, Rotoroa is accessible to everyone as an arts, heritage and conservation estate.
Explore Rotoroa Island
Rotoroa is easy to traverse in a day, so bring your walking shoes, pack a picnic and explore the island - or simply relax with a swim at one of four beautiful beaches.
Rotoroa is the Hauraki Gulf's newest wildlife sanctuary and in partnership with Auckland Zoo, the Rotoroa Island Trust has begun to release endangered native species on the island, including kiwi, saddlebacks, reptiles and takahe.
The island has good and varied walking tracks plus four-star accommodation, beautiful beaches, heritage buildings and an award-winning museum and exhibition centre. Explore trails among regenerating bush, see the monumental sculpture by Chris Booth, and contemplate views across the Gulf to the Coromandel.
- Explore walking trails among regenerating native bush.
- Visit the award-winning museum and exhibition centre which tells the story of the island's history.
- Visit the island's chapel with its steps whitewashed to the Superintendent's instructions.
- Explore the jail house where inebriated inmates were left to dry-out on admission.
- See the 1860's school house which doubled as a tea house plus the community's old butchery.
- Swim and picnic at one of the island’s four beautiful sandy beaches.
- Prepare a lunch and cook it at one of the island's free BBQs.
- View the mast from the vessel Tiri II, Radio Hauraki’s pirate radio ship which broadcast from the Gulf and was eventually decommissioned on the island.
- Go fishing off the wharf at Home Bay or try catching a snapper from the rocks off one of the island's bays.
- Visit the seven metre high Chris Booth sculpture on the island's southern headland.
What to bring
- Good walking shoes, sunblock and a sun hat.
- Change of clothes, swimming gear and a towel. There are changing sheds on the island.
- Pack a picnic and something to sit on (there is no food or drink available to purchase on Rotoroa).
- Make use of the FREE BBQs (remember to bring your own cooking utensils).
- Also note that cell phone access and fresh water are available on the island.
Rotoroa Island offers some delightful upmarket holiday homes which all have fantastic views, are renovated to a high standard in vibrant vintage style and have all the comforts of home. Bookings are essential. To find out more and to book, visit: http://www.rotoroa.org.nz/accommodation.aspx
Help look after the island
Rotoroa is a pest-free island, so all animals are prohibited. A pest eradication programme is on-going.
Important biosecurity information
Our vessels are licensed by the Department of Conservation and the Auckland Council to visit islands in the Hauraki Gulf. We run a biosecurity system (on all our vessels) which meets the criteria to hold a ‘Pest-Free Warrant’ for the Hauraki Gulf.
What you need to do to prepare for your trip to pest-free Rotoroa Island:
- Please check your bags for stowaways: Mice, Rats, Argentine Ants and Rainbow Skinks to name a few.
- Ensure your footwear, clothing and bags are clean and free of soil and seeds. Your lunch must be packed in a rodent-proof/ sealed container eg. hard plastic.
- No open bags or boxes - everything you bring must be sealed or zipped closed.
If you would like to stay on the island overnight please book here.
Any overnight gear ie. sleeping bags, need to be checked for pest stowaways.
Food must be packed into rodent-proof/ sealed containers.
If you have any doubts or questions about your packed items please ask customer services staff or the boat crew.
Island Rangers are not available for briefing on Mondays and Tuesdays, so please book your departure to accommodate this.
Getting to Rotoroa
360 Discovery run services to Rotoroa via the Coromandel ferry service. Please always refer to our travel updates to ensure that this service is currently running. See the Rotoroa timetable for more information.
For more information on Rotoroa visit www.rotoroa.org.nz