Family Survival Guide

In this guide, we answer some of the frequently asked questions pitched by people who have babes, toddlers or children in tow.

Yes, Hobbs beach is a shallow bay that allows for safe family swimming. On the beach, there are threatened dotterel, so best to keep clear of their nesting sites. On the northern end of the island, there is a sandy beach, though access is difficult and the rocky outcrops may prove dangerous to young and inexperienced swimmers.

To get to the lighthouse and visitor centre there are two tracks, the wattle track and the kawarau track. On the kawarau track, which takes around an hour and a half, there are several steps and steep inclines, though children above the age of six will be capable of undertaking this route – if they have the inclination! If you are bringing a pushchair be prepared to do some heavy lifting. 


The second route, the wattle track takes around 30 minutes and is suitable for buggies (mountain buggies preferably), so typically families choose this track. On the wattle track, there are two resting spots – one of which is accompanied by a birdy bath which will provide respite for small legs and entertainment!


Please note: Any pushchairs can be put on the utility truck and driven up to the lighthouse for you if you wish to carry your baby in a back/front pack and collect the pushchair on completion of your walk.

Yes, we have several downloadable activity sheets that can be found on our activities and resources page. Please ask our guides for a ‘kiwi ranger’ booklet on the island too.

Yes, changing facilities are provided in the toilet block down from the Visitor’s Centre.  There are no rubbish bins on the island, so nappies will need to be packed out. 

There are cold drinks available for purchase, though no food is sold on the island. On the ferry, the cafe provides a selection of sandwiches and snacks.

Cellphone reception is patchy across the island though at the Visitor’s Centre you should be able to get cellphone reception across the various networks.

Yes, there are $$ maps that can be purchased at the Information Centre before you depart or on the ferry.