aBOUT Tiritiri Matangi
A stunning open bird sanctuary
Surrender your senses to the beauty and magic of Tiritiri Matangi Island, situated in the Hauraki Gulf and only a 75 minute ferry trip from Auckland via Gulf Harbour. From the moment you step onto the island to the moment you leave, you will be entranced by the serenade of gentle bird song and the lush native bush. Tiritiri Matangi Island is one of the world’s most successful volunteer conservation projects. It has been re-vegetated with around 300,000 native trees and consequently 12 of New Zealand’s endangered birds and 3 reptile species have been successfully re-introduced as a result.
Tiritiri Matangi, meaning “tossed by the wind”, is an Open Scientific Reserve managed by the Department of Conservation (DOC) in partnership with the Supporters of Tiritiri Matangi Inc. The “open sanctuary” status allows 150 ferry visitors daily from Wednesday to Sunday onto the island. Here they can witness first hand some of New Zealand’s rarest inhabitants in a natural and protected environment. Visitors can have the opportunity to stay on the island overnight by booking through the Department of Conservation (DOC). This experience is truly unique, observing New Zealand’s nocturnal wildlife emerging as the sun goes down, wildlife such as the Little Blue Penguin (the world’s smallest penguin), the Little Spotted Kiwi, and the Tuatara are just some of the highlights.
Important biosecurity information
Our vessels are licensed by the Department of Conservation (DOC) 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 Tiritiri Matangi Island:
- Please check your bags for stowaways, such as: 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 will be allowed on-board – everything you bring must be sealed or zipped closed.
What to bring
- A sun hat and sunscreen
- Plenty of water, snacks and lunch (there are no shops on the island but you can buy provisions on the ferry).
- Wear sturdy walking shoes
- A light rain jacket, swimwear and towel depending on the conditions
Exploring the island
There are numerous walking tracks throughout the island which vary in length and demand different fitness levels. Forested walking tracks are well established with board walks meandering through coastal forest. Other walking tracks skirt the perimeter of the island and pathways and roads weave through the islands interior. All are clearly sign-posted. Please stay on the pathways and walking tracks, as even the most delicate of steps could damage the natural ecosystem that has developed or disturb a ground nesting bird.
For more information about Tiritiri Matangi walking tracks please ask for the brochure produced and sold by the Supporters of Tiritiri Matangi.
Guided walks of Tirirtiri
The Supporters of Tiritiri Matangi are extremely enthusiastic about sharing, with all visitors to the Island, the wealth of knowledge they have accumulated about Tiritiri Matangi over the years.
For a small additional fee of $5 per person you can join a 1 ½ hour guided morning experience and learn about the exquisite bird life, natural surrounds, revegetation and history of Tiritiri Matangi. Your guide will highlight the best spots to see various wildlife on the island, and will help you to identify birdcalls and sounds which echo through the trees and will take you up to the visitor centre with its informative exhibits. Your lunchtime and afternoon are free for you to wander, look and listen. A day on Tiritiri Matangi is extraordinary, however, a day on Tiritiri Matangi with one of the supporters of Tiritiri Matangi as your guide; will make your day exceptional.
When booking your trip to Tiritiri Matangi Island please specify to Ticket Office staff that you wish to have a guided walk so that enough guides can be provided on the day.
Overnight gear (e.g. bedding, equipment) must be thoroughly 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.
Please note: Accommodation can only be booked through the Department of Conservation. Ferry tickets are booked directly with 360 Discovery Cruises. Overnight tickets are not available for purchase through our web store.
Please note there is no food available for purchase on the island. Occasionally weather conditions prohibit 360 Discovery from travelling to the island. Please call 09 916 2241 after 7:00am on the day of your trip for confirmation. Calls may cost 10c dependent on your phone provider.