We are going to Motutapu Island to hike around the northern part of the island from Home Bay to Billy Goat Point via Wetland Track and back via Pohutukawa Track. In contrast to conjoint twin island Rangitoto, Motutapu is one of the oldest islands in the Hauraki Gulf with a history dating back to the Jurassic period. It mainly consists of farmland pasture with pockets of native forest and exotic trees. Scenic walking tracks lead to sandy beaches and historic military sites that can be explored, with great views of Gulf along the way. This meetup can be attended separately as a day hike, or as the second part of a weekend trip following Rangitoto Day Hike + Camping.
Duration: 6 hours on island for day hike including stops.
Difficulty: 2 on our 1-5 scale. Easier than average, mainly on grass/farm tracks with some sandy beach, forest track, and gravel road walking. Some rolling hill climbing may test fitness although max elevation is only 107m.
Weather Update (Fri 4pm): Metservice forecast for Sunday is: "Fine spells, chance afternoon shower. Dying sou'west. (sun+cloud symbol)".
- Pier 2 of Ferry Terminal is on west side of the prominent ferry building on Quay Street, Downtown. We'll gather somewhere visible near the ticket booth.
- If getting ferry from Devonport, can gather somewhere near ferry berth on wharf.
- On Motutapu Island we'll gather on grass near road junction close to Home Bay wharf.
- 08:45 - Good time to arrive at Pier 2, get tickets
- 09:15 - Ferry departs Pier 2, Downtown
- 09:25 - Ferry departs Devonport Wharf
- 09:45 - Approx ferry arrives and departs Rangitoto
- 10:00 - Approx ferry arrives at Motutapu, introductions
- 10:15 - Start hike
- 16:00 - End hike before now, get on ferry
- 16:15 - Ferry departs Motutapu
- 16:30 - Ferry arrives and departs Motuihe Island
- 17:00 - Ferry arrives and departs Rangitoto
- 17:20 - Approx ferry arrives and departs Devonport
- 17:30 - Approx ferry return to Auckland
- See Fullers Ferry Timetable & Fares.
- Ferry departs Auckland at 9:15am and Motutapu at 4:15pm, stopping at Devonport and Motuihe Island on the way.
- If just doing day hike then need Motutapu return ticket ($31.50).
- If camping previous night then need Motutapu one way ticket ($17).
- Tickets can be bought on day (including on ferry if camping). No need to book.
- Online NZ Topo map of north Motutapu
- Map of Motutapu Island (photo of information board at Motutapu Causeway)
- Start from Home Bay Wharf.
- Turn right on road to Northern Junction for about 400m.
- Turn left onto Rotary Centennial Walkway through restoration forest
- At end of Walkway, turn right on road up to Northern Junction.
- At Northern Junction, turn left onto track network then right onto Wetland Track.
- Can optionally sidetrack right to Waikarapupu Bay.
- Continue on Wetland Track then turn right onto track to Billy Goat Point.
- Return same way, then straight-right at junction on Pohutukawa Track to Sandy Bay and stop for swim.
- Continue on coastal track to Administration Bay.
- Walk up road from Administration Bay for short distance then go up grassy track on left to Northern Junction.
- Can explore historic military sites around Northern Junction.
- At Northern Junction, go down sidetrack on left to Mullet Bay.
- Go back up sidetrack and continue down road to Home Bay.
- lunch and drink
- clothing suitable for summer
- footwear suitable for walking tracks
- rain and sun protection
- towel and swimming gear
- torch (for exploring underground military sites)
- first-aid items
- Motutapu Restoration Trust website
(1) We have previously visited Motutapu on 30 Sep 2012 and 3 Mar 2011. This time we'll hike a northern route similar to the 2011 trip but loop in opposite direction and try to include Mullet Bay.
(2) The Rangitoto + Motutapu weekend trip idea is based on an Auckland Adventure Group trip that happened on 16-17 Jan 2010.
(3) It is safer and generally more fun to hike together as a group. We aim to do this with stops at track junctions for group to regather, but there's no guarantee this will happen so prepare for this as best you can (study maps of island) in case you become separated from the group.
(4) We'll hike at a casual moderate pace that is comfortable for the middle of the group with stops at places of interest along the way.
(5) We'll have a food/rest stop at Billy Goat Point and a lunch/swim stop at Sandy Bay (a nice sandy beach that is suitable for swimming).
(6) High tide on Sunday is 1:35pm which will be ideal for swimming.
(7) If we finish hike early there can be another swimming opportunity at Home Bay (beach is fairly stoney but okay for swimming).
(8) We can optionally go somewhere in city for refreshments after hike and ferry returns to Auckland.
- If you are interested to attend, it will help if you: read all the details in this description carefully; RSVP online soon (even if uncertain that you'll attend - any important updates will be e-mailed to Yes RSVPers); and update your RSVP later if you decide not to attend or anything you specified is no longer accurate.
- There are several RSVP questions about certainty of attending, meeting places, ferry times plans, and camping. Answering these will help with planning, thanks :-)
Are you interested to attend?