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Tiritiri Matangi Island

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Tiritiri Matangi [1] is an island in the Hauraki Gulf off Auckland in New Zealand.


Tiritiri matangi is one of only two scientific reserves in New Zealand that are open to the public. It has been created as a predator-free sanctuary to enable endangered species to thrive.

There are 78 species of birds that have been seen on or nearby to Tiritiri Matangi. Some of the species are the little spotted kiwi, takahe, stitchbird, tui, saddleback, North Island robin, brown teal, bellbird and fantail. The island is a highlight for anyone interested in ornithology.

The island is 220 hectares in size. Farming destroyed most of the native bush during the last century. Since being placed under the care of the Department of Conservation, volunteers have planted between 250,000 and 300,000 trees which has forested about 60% of the island. The other 40% remains as grassland for the Takahe. (The Takahe was presumed to be extinct until they were "rediscovered" in the Murchison Mountains of Fiordland in 1948).

The island is rubbish free. Take out what you bring in. There are NO dustbins. There are toilets on the ferry, at the shop/lighthouse and at Hobb's Beach on the island. Smoking is NOT allowed except at the wharf and the lighthouse. Take the butts home with you.

Animals, pet mice etc. are NOT allowed.

There is a limit of 150 visitors a day.

Remember a hat, sunblock, some warm clothes and a rain jacket. Binoculars are useful for bird viewing.

Get in[edit]

The island is situated 30 km NE of Auckland and 4km from the Whangaparaoa Peninsula. Access is via the 360 Discovery ferry - 75 minutes from Auckland or 20 minutes from Gulf Harbour in the Whangaparaoa Peninsula. The ferry departs Auckland at 9:0 AM and Gulf Harbour at 9:50 AM. The ferry returns at 3:30 PM. The cost is $66.00 for adults and $29 for children from Auckland and $49 for adults and $24.50 for children from Gulf Harbour. Note that all sailings are subject to weather conditions. For the ferry trip, bookings are essential. To check if your sailing is going ahead on your day of departure please call 0800-FANTAIL (0800-326824) (NZ only) after 7:00 AM.

Senior (ages 65+ with valid I.D) prices are also avaliable; $59 from Auckland and $44 form Gulf Harbour Marina.

There is an optional guided walk which lasts an hour which costs $5 for adults and $2.50 for children, this must also be purchased at the time of making your ferry reservation.

Get around[edit]

There are a number of walking tracks on the island. The longest takes about 4 hours to complete.

See[edit][add listing]

The stunning views over the Gulf, plant and bird life and the lighthouse (which still functions). Dolphins, stingrays and orca are often seen near the wharf.

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Hauraki Adventures [2]. This company offers a wide range of water activities on the Hauraki Gulf including fishing trips and drop of trips to Tiritiri Matangi Island.
  • There are a number of walks. They range from 1 hour to 4 - 5 hours.
  • Walk up to the lighthouse. Built in 1864, it is one of the oldest in New Zealand and the only one easily accessible to the public. It is 21 meters tall. The Xenon gas lamp installed in 1965 was reputed to be the brightest in the S. Hemisphere. It has been replaced by a quartz iodine light. The lighthouse is now fully automated. Solar power is used.

Buy[edit][add listing]

There is a souvenir shop. All profits support the conservation effort. The shop sells cold drinks and complimentary tea and coffee. NO food is sold. The shop will gladly accept cash or credit cards but EFTPOS is not available.

There is a brochure which includes a detailed map. This can be purchased for $1:00 from the shop, the Fuller's ferry ticket office or en-route on the ferry.

Eat[edit][add listing]

Bring your own. All food must be packed in sealed boxes (e.g. lunch box). NO plastic bags. This is to keep the island rodent free.

Drink[edit][add listing]

Buy at the shop or bring your own

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Overnight accommodation is available in a four room bunkhouse. It is equipped with cooking utensils, fridge, gas stove and BBQ. There is hot water in the showers. Bring your own sleeping bag, pillow case and torch. Bookings: +64 9 476 0010, email [email protected]