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. For 100 years, the island was off limits to all but those going there for alcohol or drug rehabilitation in the care of the Salvation Army. Now operated by the Rotoroa Island Trust, this unique island re-opened in 2011, thanks to the generosity of philanthropists who negotiated a 99-year lease to allow public access and the islands redevelopment.
Just a 75 minute trip from Auckland, Rotoroa combines a rich social history with beautiful beaches, walking trails, heritage buildings, art, and a state-of-the-art exhibition centre which tells the story of the island's history.
Explore the heart of the old Salvation Army settlement, including the jail, chapel and school house. Visit the island's exhibition centre detailing Rotoroa's unique history and conservation programme. Swim or picnic at one of four beautiful sandy beaches, explore walking trails among regenerating bush or stroll to the landmark Chris Booth sculpture on the island's southern headland.
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. To find out more and book, visit: http://www.rotoroa.org.nz/accommodation.aspx
Bookings to Rotoroa are essential.
For more information on Rotoroa visit www.rotoroa.org.nz
Help look after the island
Rotoroa is a predator 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.
What to bring
- Walking shoes, sunblock and a sun hat.
- Swimming gear and towels.
- Also note that cell phone access and fresh water are available on the island.
What to do
- visit the islands 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.
- visit the Exhibition Centre.
- walk to the islands cemetery and contemplate views of Ponui Island and the Hauraki Gulf.
- swim and picnic at one of the island’s four beautiful sandy beaches
- prepare a lunch and cook it at one of the islands 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.
- explore walking trails among regenerating native bush.
- take your kids fishing from 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.