• Category
    Island Activity
  • Location
  • Operating Season
    Year round

Things to do at Rotoroa Island

Rotoroa Island is small enough to explore in a day, but large enough that you won't run out of things to do or see...


Rotoroa Island has been predator free since 2014 and is now home to a number of native birds. Keep an eye out for the following birds as you explore the island.

Birds you're likely to see: Weka, Tui, Fantail (Piwakawaka), Saddleback (Tīeke), Takahē, Pukeko, Variable Oystercatcher (Tōrea), Dotterel (Tūturiwhatu)

Birds you might see: Whitehead (Pōpokotea), Brown teal (Pāteke), Grey Faced petrel, White Fronted Terns, Kererū (Wood Pigeon), Waxeye, Caspian tern

Birds that you have a rare chance of seeing: Kiwi (make sure you visit Rotoroa Island for one of the kiwi release days), Australasian Gannet (Tākapu), Kaka 

Walking Tracks

There are a variety of walks on the island to suit different levels of fitness.

The North Tower Loop Track will reward you with amazing views and also connects up to the Cable Bay and Mai Mai Bay tracks, which will lead you to some of the best swimming spots on the island.

The Southern Loop track, begins from the Exhibition Centre which is about 10 minutes from the wharf. Make sure you take a detour to Men’s Bay, before looping around the South Tower, past the Chris Booth Sculpture and over to Ruthe Point Lookout. 

Find out more and download a map here

Guided Walk

Book a 90 minute guided walk around Rotoroa Island with one of the knowledgeable rangers. Spaces are limited to 15 people and are available to book online with your ferry ticket for an additional $22 per adult, $11 per child or $60 for a family (2 Adults & 2 Children).

Find out more here.


Rotoroa Island is home to four beautiful safe swimming beaches - Ladies Bay, Men's Bay, Mai Mai Bay and Cable Bay.

Ask the island ranger to point you in the direction of the best spot for the day depending on the the weather conditions.


Bring your snorkel and mask to take advantage of the remote snorkelling available on Rotoroa Island. Ladies' Bay and Men's Bay provide amazing opportunities for exploring the sea life in the Hauraki Gulf.

Exhibition Centre, Museum & Heritage Buildings

Explore Rotoroa's award-winning museum and exhibition centre to discover the island's special history as New Zealand's first and longest-running addiction treatment centre, and visit the original jail, 1860's schoolhouse and butchery.

Chris Booth Sculpture

Take the Southern Loop Track to see Chris Booth's stunning sculpture, Kaitiaki, which leans towards Ruthe Passage.

Chris Booth's sculpture on Rotoroa Island is an impressive piece, comprising three post-tensioned arcs of boulders strung together. It was commissioned in memory of Jack Plowman, father of island benefactor Neal Plowman.

Inspired by wind bent branches of a nearby pohutukawa tree, the sculpture celebrates the life of an identity who had lifelong connections with the island and the Hauraki Gulf.