Hauraki Gulf Islands

Visit the Hauraki Gulf Islands, Auckland, NZ

The Hauraki Gulf is Auckland’s inner coastal sea, stretching from Cape Rodney on the north coast to Great Barrier Island north of Coromandel Peninsula.

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Many of the inner islands have good anchorages, boat-ramps, and one or more wharf. Some islands are privately-owned and others managed for nature preservation and reforestation.

Some of the larger islands, such as Kawau and Rakino, have sizeable permanent populations, others have caretaker in residence but no settlements, while others are not inhabitable but still provide anchorages and fishing and diving locations.

Accommodation in the Hauraki Gulf Islands (NZ)

Kawau and Great Barrier islands have luxury lodge retreats, some with helicopter and boat access. Only Waiheke and Great Barrier islands have bed and breakfast inns, guest lodges and backpackers. But holiday homes can be rented all year round on these and Rakino Island. Camping is permitted on Motutapu, and other islands with prior consent. Venue facilities and accommodation are available on several islands.

Transport around Hauraki Gulf Islands

Great Barrier island has an airfield used by private and charter airplanes and helicopters. It has a good road system used by bus services and taxis. However, many areas are accessible only by a suitable 4WD vehicle.

Water taxis are also available for shorter trips in good weather. Many islands are served regularly by passenger and vehicle ferries. Some smaller islands can be reached only with a private or chartered boat.

Auckland’s ferry companies have regular or occasional services to most of the habited islands, and to those maintained as ecological reserves.

Sailing, fishing and diving charters are a great way to see the gulf and islands.

Tourist Activities around Hauraki Gulf Islands

Nature tours to Tiritiri and Motuihe nature reserves promise a great day out, with occasional sightings of whales and dolphins.

Rangitoto Island is a recent volcano that dominates Auckland’s sea view. Visitors can walk around the island or to the summit for unequalled views. There are no permanent habitations on the Rangitoto but there is a camp site at adjoining Motutapu Island, connected by a causeway. It is served by fast ferry from Auckland several times daily

Kawau Island is a favoured yacht anchorage and place of interest for its colonial mansion, former home of Governor Grey, and abandoned copper works.

The Hauraki Gulf is relatively shallow and provides some great opportunities for snorkelling, spear-fishing and shellfish gathering, as well as fishing for snapper, john dory and groper.

Helicopter fishing, especially around rugged Great Barrier Island, is increasingly popular.

Great Barrier Island Escape with Walking Legends4 day, 3 night guided walking holiday on magical Great Barrier Island! Enjoy winding trails through volcanic peaks, rare native forest, golden beaches and crystal-clear waters ensure your daily quota of exercise and adventure. Secluded 3.5 star boutique lodge accommodation.

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