Plan Your Trip

Regular Ferry Service
Raincoat Advisable
Island Activities
Tea/Coffee Available (No Food)

Getting to the island

Tiritiri Matangi lies close to the Whangaparoa Peninsula, so to get to and from the island you can either take the Fuller’s ferry service from central Auckland or Gulf Harbour. 

Activities on the island

The island offers a range of activities for day trippers, including guided walks, snorkelling or some beach time. There are a number of tracks that take in podocarp forest, archaeological sites and have sweeping views of the Hauraki Gulf. The tracks to the Visitor Centre vary in length from 15 minutes to 2 hours.

Come prepared

If the weather is looking rainy, then it is advised to take decent wet weather gear as there are no shelters along the tracks. Regardless of the forecast, please bring a raincoat. Many of the tracks are steep and some contain steps, so if you have small children, it is advised that you take a mountain buggy. 

Visitor Centre

At the top of the island, near the lighthouse, is a Visitor Centre that has interesting interpretive displays. Here you can have a free tea or coffee, but there is no food for sale on the island so please bring your own lunch. The shop at the Visitor Centre sells cold drinks and a wide range of gifts – all proceeds benefit conservation and education activities carried out by the Supporters of Tiritiri Matangi.

When to visit

Any time is a good time to visit the wildlife of Tiritiri Matangi! At certain times of the year you can observe courtship and nesting activities, or enjoy seasonal plants blooming.


Spring is undoubtedly the best time to enjoy the special Tiritiri dawn chorus, if you are lucky enough to stay overnight. You won’t want to sleep in!

Early summer

This is the time to see kōwhai in flower. The nectar-feeding birds are in their element, and there is lively competition for the best feeding spots.

Late summer

A great time to see birds hanging out in family groups, with the parents feeding their chicks, and our blazing red pohutukawa in flower.


By autumn the birds have finished their moult and are looking their best. Cooler weather and more rain refreshes the whole island.


Surprisingly enough, winter is a great time to visit. The bush is alive with bird song, and the winter-flowering kohekohe steals the show.

Guided walks

If you want to soak up the island’s history, learn about the behind-the-scenes conservation work, or discover more about the birds that flit or hop across the track, you can take a guided walk. 

These are run by our knowledgeable volunteers, many of whom helped transform this barren farmscape into the forested sanctuary it is today. The tours vary in length from one to two and a half hours.

You can book a guided walk when you make your ferry booking. If you haven’t booked a guided walk and then decide when you arrive that you would like one, it is almost always possible to accommodate small groups.

We sometimes run specialist guided walks, led by an expert, on ornithology and photography (number limited to 8 people). If you are interested in one of these walks please email the guiding manager on before your visit.

An informative leaflet with a map of the island tracks is available for purchase on the ferry, or in the shop at the Visitor Centre. All proceeds from guided walks and shop sales benefit conservation and education activities run by the Supporters of Tiritiri Matangi.


There are no pests on the island and we want to keep it that way, so it is important to undertake some checks to ensure that you’re not taking an unwanted hitchhiker. 

Check – your gear for pests such as rodents and insects

Clean – footwear and gear, removing soil and seeds

Seal – ensure your gear is zipped up (no open bags)

When you leave the mainland, it is important to scrub your footwear and double check that you’re not taking any unwanted seeds or pests onto the island. For a detailed checklist, see the Department of Conservation’s guide.

Environmental care code

This environmental care code for Tiritiri Matangi Island is adapted from that presented on the DOC website (here).

  1. Protect plants and animals

Treat Tiritiri Matangi’s forests and wildlife with care and respect. They are unique and often rare. No bird lures, whistles or recordings to be used.

  1. Remove rubbish

Litter is unattractive, harmful to wildlife and can increase disease. Plan your visit to reduce rubbish, and carry out what you carry in.

  1. Toilets

Toilets are available at the Tiritiri wharf, Hobbs Beach and Visitor Centre.

  1. Keep streams and lakes clean

Be careful to avoid dropping litter or other materials in our streams and ponds.

  1. No fires

No fires allowed, not even a barbecue on the beach. Smoking permitted only on the concrete areas at the Wharf and by the Visitor Centre.

  1. No camping

No camping allowed on the Island.

  1. Keep to the tracks

By keeping to the major tracks shown on the maps, you lessen the chance of damaging fragile plants and animals and their habitat. Do not stray onto ‘bush tracks’ these are for access by researchers and those monitoring the plants and animals. No ball games are allowed on the Island; a ball bouncing into long grass could disturb, injure or even kill an animal.

  1. Consider others

People visit the Tiritiri Matangi for many reasons. Be considerate of other visitors who also have a right to enjoy the natural environment.

  1. Respect our cultural heritage

Tiritiri Matangi has a spiritual and historical significance. Treat the Island with consideration and respect.

  1. Enjoy your visit

Enjoy your outdoor experience. Take a last look before leaving the Island; will the next visitor know that you have been there?

Protect the environment for your own sake, for the sake of those who come after you, and for the environment itself. 

Toitu te whenua (Leave the land undisturbed)